50 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2009 Last revised: 13 Oct 2009
Date Written: July 15, 2009
Few marketing problems in society lead to the tragedy of harm that can result when firearms are diverted from the legal to the illegal marketplace. Product diversion is itself a serious concern for marketers, especially marketers of potentially dangerous products such as tobacco, alcohol, firearms, and pharmaceuticals. These products may be sought and obtained by consumers occupying illegal markets, or intent on using them for illegal purposes, leading to adverse consequences for other consumers, marketers and society at large. Drawing on established marketing principles and accepted methods of forensic research, this paper reports on a large-scale study of the diversion of handguns in the U.S. and the countermarketing and demarketing efforts of firearm marketers to safeguard against its occurrence through their distribution systems. The findings suggest that: (1) significant diversion of handguns to illegal markets occurred in the U.S. during a recent period, (2) industry marketers varied widely in their use of safeguards against this diversion, but on average engaged in few countermarketing and demarketing measures, and (3) the safeguarding efforts engaged in were found to both reduce diversion and its resultant crimes. The study and its findings help to inform understanding of the nature and effects of firearm diversion and the use of countermarketing and demarketing safeguards to reduce its occurrence. The study also demonstrates the use of data and data collection methodologies from the legal process to inform questions about marketing including controversial aspects of its practice. Overall, the research adds to extant thinking concerning countermarketing and demarketing as well as the related areas of social marketing, corporate responsibility and public health.
Keywords: firearms, product diversion, black markets, second amendment, countermarketing, demarketing, safeguards, distribution,
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Gundlach, Gregory T. and Bradford, Kevin and Wilkieauthor, William L., Countermarketing and Demarketing Against Product Diversion: Forensic Research in the Firearms Industry (July 15, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1434485 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1434485