Mary Robinson, vice president of marketing for a famous men’s dress shirt manufacturer, had spent three months working on the in-store promotional campaign to be used for the new all cotton, easy-care shirt line. The campaign stressed an unusual point-of-purchase fixture: a life-sized cardboard figure wearing one of the actual shirts. Department stores and specialty stores were expected to use this display to attract customers’ attention to the new line by featuring it prominently. Robinson had played a major role in creating this dealer promotion and was rather proud of it. The campaign had now been going on for six weeks and she was anxiously awaiting the report prepared by the company’s marketing research department, due that afternoon. She just knew it would be laudatory. In fact, however, most of the retailers thought the campaign was a disaster—especially the life-sized cardboard sign that many of them did not have the space to display. And even if they did, they added, they thought it would be gauche to do so. Can Mary be sure that the research report that will be on her desk that afternoon will fully and accurately convey the retailers’ opinions? Discuss.
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