A Converse Case Study, created by Amanda Grappone, Bina Fronda, Michelle Pang, and Zan Strumfeld.
This is an analysis of a 2010 case from an ethical standpoint, for Howard Good’s Media Ethics fall 2010 course. The case examines the relationship between Converse, a major consumer-driven corporation, and the musical acts signed to Rubber Tracks, a record label and genuine product of Converse. Through the use of the TARES test (five principles for ethical determination), Converse’s manipulative control over its signed groups, as well as its consumers, is exposed. It is suggested that the definition of music has changed in recent years, with its role becoming a marketing tool for corporations to abuse. Music is no longer seen as an inspiration or creative outlet, but as a way to hook consumers onto a product without standard advertising. Advertising is now masked discreetly into music videos and catchy singles.