Appearance Discrimination in Mexico Case


Read the case and then answer the questions at the end of the case. Instructions in the word doc attached


Appearance Discrimination in Mexico Case

It would be legal for Aeromexico Airlines to not discriminate against a section of the country’s citizens, but rather, be very selective on their choice of candidates for their television commercial. In as much as a majority of the population in the nation of Mexico is dark-skinned, there exists an elitist class of light-skinned Mexicans who constitute a unique market segment. This is precisely the market that Aeromexico seeks to target through advertising. So, making a television commercial that addresses this particular demographic would not be illegal, discriminatory, or an infringement on anyone’s rights. On the contrary, it would easily pass as an acceptably effective marketing move.


In making casting calls for actors and actresses with the “Polanco look” for their television commercial, Aeromexico acted in accordance with Ethical Egoism as the airline acted in the pursuit of its own self-interest. In relation to Ethical Relativism, Aeromexico was at fault as this theory states that morality is relative to one’s cultural norms. The airline’s actions were wrong as society’s values do notcondone discrimination of any kind. In terms of Utilitarianism, again the airline was at fault as this moral theory clearly states that an action is right or wrong depending on its effects. According to this action’s effects, some wrongdoing had occurred. On the contrary, based on Kantian Ethics, one may approve of the casting call as the theory states that the rightfulness of an action depends not on its effects but rather, on whether or not it fulfilled the set objective. The choice of light-skinned cast for the commercial was bound to attract the targeted market segment comprising the country’s elite.

The apology offered by Aeromexico was in no way sufficient as it was brief and not well thought-out. It was merely a statement designed to divert the press’ preoccupation with and attention from the matter. The apology was not sincere, heartfelt, or remorseful, and it was in no way cognizant of the effects Aeromexico actions had caused to the aggrieved parties.

In order to be a socially responsible company, Aeromexico should carry out a nationwide market research study to find out the dynamics of the Mexican people’sculturalvalues and their perceptions towards issues of racial identity. The findings of this investigation should be used to inform decisions on how to craft commercials that portray racial neutrality through morally acceptable content and communication that would never cause discomfort to any demographic group in the society.

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