Treyarch and Pepsi’s Collaboration from the Virtue Ethics Perspective
Compliance with business ethics and the endeavor to ensure that customers’ needs are met properly are two foundational principles of running a business, on which a company’s reputation and popularity hinges. Therefore, when seeking collaboration opportunities, organizations must be especially cautious since the choice of a partner may lead to significant ethical implications. The project created by Treyarch and Pepsi as an attempt to attract a greater number and variety of customers is a very accurate depiction of the described issue from the perspective of Virtue Ethics since the food that PepsiCo produces is notorious for its negative effects on people’s health (Tsoukas, 2018). Given the fact that children and teenagers constitute the majority of Treyarch’s target audience, collaborating with PepsiCo and, thus, promoting its food to the specified demographic would be a highly irresponsible and unethical choice.
Collaboration with PepsiCo should currently be represented as unethical to Treyarch from the Virtue Ethics principles since it does not allow the company to remain on the path of virtue while supporting PepsiCo and cooperating with it. Indeed, according to the essential tenets of the Virtue Ethics, it is crucial to consider the morality and virtues of the partner with which one cooperates (Tsoukas, 2018). Specifically, virtue ethics judges the ethical value of an action not on the premise of its outcomes or specific duties and rules for ethical decision-making but, rather, the ethical profile of the parties involved.
Thus, whereas Treyarch can be considered as ethically unblemished, the reputation of PepsiCo has been tarnished significantly due to the negative effects that its products have on consumers’ health (Lee et al., 2020). Indeed, PepsiCo’s food and drinks, ranging from its trademark Pepsi Cola to Doritos and lesser known brands such as Kevita, Propel, are far from being healthy (Sultan et al., 2019). Highly saturate with fats and carbohydrates, PepsiCo’s products are mostly represented by empty-calorie food that contributes to the development of health issues such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other problems (Lee et al., 2020). Therefore, from the perspective of Virtue Ethics, PepsiCo is a very undesirable partner, and collaborating with it would imply tarnishing its reputation for Treyarch.
Therefore, it is highly recommended that Treyarch should examine every possible implication of collaborating with PepsiCo and promoting its products. While the specified opportunity may help Treyarch gain some publicity, it will also represent the company as advocating for the products that are generally harmful for its target demographic. In turn, the specified type of publicity will make Treyarch lose some of its credibility and trustworthiness in the global market, which will lead to decreased customer loyalty and worse perception of the brand (Sison et al., 2018). Therefore, applying the principles of the Virtue Ethics, as well as common sense, in general, one will see the obvious problems in the described partnership.
Since Treyarch caters primarily to the needs of children and teenagers, its planned collaboration with PepsiCo, which produces very unhealthy food saturated with fats and sugar, should be seen as highly unethical from the perspective of Virtue Ethics. By giving the company even more publicity than it already has, as well as portraying it as the company that deserves collaboration and, therefore, whose actions Treyarch ostensibly supports, Treyarch will make a decision that will affect a range of young people negatively and, therefore, cannot be considered as ethical;. Consequently, it is highly advised from an ethical perspective that Treyarch should avoid collaboration with PepsiCo and advertising any of its products.
Lee, Y., Mozaffarian, D., Sy, S., Liu, J., Wilde, P. E., Marklund, M.,… Micha, R. (2020). Health impact and cost-effectiveness of volume, tiered, and absolute sugar content sugar-sweetened beverage tax policies in the United States: a microsimulation study. Circulation, 142(6), 523-534.
Sison, A. J. G., Ferrero, I., & Guitián, G. (Eds.). (2018). Business ethics: A virtue ethics and common good approach. Routledge.
Sultan, K., Akram, S., Abdulhaliq, S., Jamal, D., & Saleem, R. (2019). A strategic approach to the consumer perception of brand on the basis of brand awareness and brand loyalty. International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147-4478), 8(3), 33-44.
Tsoukas, H. (2018). Strategy and virtue: Developing strategy-as-practice through virtue ethics. Strategic Organization, 16(3), 323-351.