One of the hottest news in the current public relations industry is definitely the CVS Caremark that plans to take a big step as a new drugstore chain. CVS Caremark announced this week that it will not sell cigarette and tobacco products starting October and showed its vision to become a healthcare company that cares about people’s health. Its new decision is expected to reduce around 2 billion of its annual sales, but such consequence did not stop CVS from making a big change as a new leadership company.
The goal of many business operations is to make profit, and this is an ordinary thing people do not criticize. Business operations make profit off of their products, and it is their duty to sell them whether a product is good or bad. In my public relations ethics class yesterday, our class discussed whether it is ethical or unethical to promote products that are not beneficial to people. For example, alcohol companies promote their products even though alcohol is not good for our health. So is it ethical or unethical to advertise alcohol to people? There is no right or wrong answer since everyone has different beliefs. I personally do not believe advertising alcohol is unethical since it is a duty of a company to sell its product. However, it would depend on whether advertisement aims to harm our society to break the law such as promoting alcohol to young teenagers. In conclusion, it is not wrong for companies to promote its product so it is not wrong for CVS to sell cigarette and tobacco products.
Nevertheless, CVS announced to ban cigarette and tobacco products in its stores thinking of its future as a head business leader. It not only considered the goal of the company, but also its values and vision. CVS explained that it is not right for a healthcare company to sell health harming products, and planned to reduce cancer diseases through a national smoking cessation this year. This action is so powerful since it is first national pharmacy chain to this decision. Through its action, CVS will move onto the next step of becoming a bigger business operation. CVS showed the community that it does not only care about making profits, but it cares about issues in our society, which is healthcare related issues due to tobacco products. The people will definitely take side of CVS and will see its brand as a community based company rather than a profit based.
Some business leaders might criticize CVS for making such decision since its annual sales will be reduced to around 2 billion. However, I believe CVS made a very smart decision. CVS saw vision of its company in the long run rather than a short run. By considering values and vision of our people, it joined us to improve our society rather than to only think of its profit. CVS took a step closer to our society and it will soon become a larger business operation in the future through a big step it made as a leader.