If something is of interest to people, it benefits them or gives them an advantage. If something is of interest to people, it benefits them or gives them an advantage


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If something is of interest to people, it benefits them or gives them an advantage.

  • If something is of interest to people, it benefits them or gives them an advantage.

  • Succinctly, it is in the best interest of consumers (to their benefit or advantage) to have marketplace failures (the conditions that affect the realization of their interests) and resultant consumer issues (if a power imbalance arises) dealt with effectively and expediently, in a sustainable manner.



‘what constitutes the consumer interest’ has broadened from a focus on the direct relationship between consumers and sellers to include major social issues, exacerbated by economic and fiscal policies as well as corporate and marketing behavior. These public interest issues with consumer overtones include, but are not limited to, pollution, social welfare, poverty, health care, telecommunications, and tariffs and trade.

    • ‘what constitutes the consumer interest’ has broadened from a focus on the direct relationship between consumers and sellers to include major social issues, exacerbated by economic and fiscal policies as well as corporate and marketing behavior. These public interest issues with consumer overtones include, but are not limited to, pollution, social welfare, poverty, health care, telecommunications, and tariffs and trade.






Marketplace – Latin merk, various aspects of economics, public space or arena

  • Marketplace – Latin merk, various aspects of economics, public space or arena

  • Failure – Latin mal, wrongly or badly

  • Marketplace failures is a modern day term referring to when trade arenas malfunction

  • The market ‘fails’ consumers if something goes wrongly or badly before, during or after a market transaction. This type of ‘harm’ occurs due to an imbalance in the power relationship between consumers and businesses.



Developments in the external context (social, political, technological, economic)

  • Developments in the external context (social, political, technological, economic)

  • People’s values and belief systems

  • (Mis)management of family household resources (e.g., credit, debt, savings, wealth, retirement, insurance)

  • Inadequate or non-existent consumer protection legislation and regulations

  • Ability and propensity (or not) to be consumer advocates



Inequity and unfairness during the transactional process (disreputable behaviour)

  • Inequity and unfairness during the transactional process (disreputable behaviour)

  • Inefficiency in distribution of resources (mismanagement by either consumers and/or business)

  • Issues with particular goods or services

  • Problems with the overall structure of the entire marketplace (excessive seller power)

  • Vulnerable sectors of consumers (young, ill, old)



To redress any power imbalance in the consumer-business relationship, consumer advocates spearheaded a social movement leading to a collection of eight consumer rights (1960s-1980s). These consumer rights are accompanied with attendant responsibilities.

  • To redress any power imbalance in the consumer-business relationship, consumer advocates spearheaded a social movement leading to a collection of eight consumer rights (1960s-1980s). These consumer rights are accompanied with attendant responsibilities.



Any infringements of these rights, or any irresponsible consumer actions, can lead to situations that are not in the best interest of consumers because they:

  • Any infringements of these rights, or any irresponsible consumer actions, can lead to situations that are not in the best interest of consumers because they:

    • (a) have not received any benefits;
    • (b) are harmed, injured or left less secure or unprotected;
    • (c) are disadvantaged, exploited or marginalized in some way (morally, personally, financially); or,
    • some combination of these scenarios.


  • If the market economy does not function properly, it is said to have failed the consumer (infringed upon their rights in some way, compromising their interests), resulting in a consumer issue

  • An issue is an important question, topic, matter, point of concern, event or situation (that is, a consumer problem) that is in dispute, discussion or debate, and must be settled.



(a) economic security and interest (financial security and privacy, and contractual and transactional fairness);

  • (a) economic security and interest (financial security and privacy, and contractual and transactional fairness);

  • (b) health and personal safety;

  • (c) information asymmetry;

  • (d) education (consumer and general);



If consumers’ rights are infringed upon and/or if they act irresponsibly, consumers can be harmed, and their interests can be compromised.

  • If consumers’ rights are infringed upon and/or if they act irresponsibly, consumers can be harmed, and their interests can be compromised.

  • Consumer protection frameworks are designed to prevent businesses that engage in fraud or unfair practices from gaining an advantage over competitors, or from harming consumers. These frameworks often provide additional protection for the vulnerable consumer (e.g., disadvantaged, unable to take care of themselves, ill-prepared or irresponsible).



competition policy

  • competition policy

  • legislation regulating the production and provision of products and services

  • advertising and marketing restrictions and guidelines

  • consumer education

  • moral suasion

  • consultative partnerships



A consumer vantage point privileges the interests of consumers relative to business, with the intent of shedding insights into inequities, inefficiencies, malfunctions and deficiencies in the marketplace. Research generated from, or interpreted within, a consumer perspective is intended to aid consumer policy makers, consumer educators and activists when helping consumers maintain their power in their relationship with businesses. If this power balance can be maintained, there is a reduced likelihood of consumer rights being infringed, consumer issues and problems arising and the consumer interest being compromised.

  • A consumer vantage point privileges the interests of consumers relative to business, with the intent of shedding insights into inequities, inefficiencies, malfunctions and deficiencies in the marketplace. Research generated from, or interpreted within, a consumer perspective is intended to aid consumer policy makers, consumer educators and activists when helping consumers maintain their power in their relationship with businesses. If this power balance can be maintained, there is a reduced likelihood of consumer rights being infringed, consumer issues and problems arising and the consumer interest being compromised.







There are too few people being socialized into the next generation of consumer interest academics

    • There are too few people being socialized into the next generation of consumer interest academics
    • Existing academics conducting CIR either do not self-identify as such or are not connected to each other
    • CIR in Canada is perceived as too siloed
    • No formal channels for collaboration and dissemination of CIR – NEED a CIR network


Seven longstanding (sub) disciplines have traditionally been involved with CIR

  • Seven longstanding (sub) disciplines have traditionally been involved with CIR

  • Eight or more sister disciplines also focus on aspects of the consumer interest, although they may not yet self-identify with CIR.



Consumer Affairs/Protection - policy, activism, advocacy, representation

  • Consumer Affairs/Protection - policy, activism, advocacy, representation

  • Consumer Science consumer interactions within the marketplace (basic science)

  • Consumer Studies consumer interactions with external systems (eco/soc/pol) while making decisions (applied science)



Consumer Economics household/family decision making in the marketplace

  • Consumer Economics household/family decision making in the marketplace

  • Family Economics economic interactions within the home (can include work place)

  • Consumer Education empowering people as market agents and as active, responsible participants in the marketplace

  • Consumer Behaviour processes/factors influencing consumer decisions, especially culture, society and psychology



Home Economics how consumer decisions and those of others shape well-being, standard of living and quality of life in the home

  • Home Economics how consumer decisions and those of others shape well-being, standard of living and quality of life in the home

  • Economics – how do economies work and how to economic agents interact – production, distribution and consumption (market, competition and trade dynamics)

  • Consumer Psychology internal processes underlying consumer’s thoughts, feelings, decisions, judgements and behaviors



Sociology of Consumption critical analysis of consumption and the consumer society as a social problem

  • Sociology of Consumption critical analysis of consumption and the consumer society as a social problem

  • History of Consumerism trajectory of the evolution of the consumer society, a social-political movement

  • Business, Management and Marketing – study how and why people buy (or not) so this process can be influenced and manipulated to inform business decisions and profits

  • Political Studies – reveal relationships and dynamics underlying political events and conditions (government and governance) as they pertain to consumption

  • Law – laws govern behaviours; regulation of private transactions between sellers and consumers (liability, fraud, misrepresentation, unfair practices)







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