Vulnerable consumers and debt in Australia: can social marketing assist?

Brennan, L and Alexiadis, S 2005, 'Vulnerable consumers and debt in Australia: can social marketing assist?', in Associate Professors Ruth Rentschler and John Hall (ed.) Proceedings of the 2nd Australasian Nonprofit and Social Marketing Conference, Melbourne, Australia, 22-23 September 2005.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

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Title Vulnerable consumers and debt in Australia: can social marketing assist?
Author(s) Brennan, L
Alexiadis, S
Year 2005
Conference name 2nd Australasian Nonprofit and Social Marketing Conference
Conference location Melbourne, Australia
Conference dates 22-23 September 2005
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 2nd Australasian Nonprofit and Social Marketing Conference
Editor(s) Associate Professors Ruth Rentschler and John Hall
Publisher Deakin University
Place of publication Geelong, Australia
Abstract There has been an increase in consumers' reliance on credit and rising consumer debt. The increase is especially problematic for those least able to afford debt of any kind - welfare recipients. This qualitative study reports on 120 Australian welfare recipients' attitudes towards debt, their understanding about what constitutes acceptable debt and the debt management strategies they adopt. The results of this research show that welfare recipients see debt as a way of life and as a means of survival in a society where a core value appears (to them) to be the acquisition of material wealth. Their status as income earners and therefore their capacity to service debt is less than others. Consequently, we could expect that their debt levels would be proportionally less; however, many participants in this research did not appear to understand the long term consequences of their level of debt. The paper concludes with a discussion as to how social marketing can be applied to potentially assist this vulnerable consumer group and the wider community.
Subjects Marketing not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Consumer credit
Debt management
Social marketing
Vulnerable consumers
ISBN 1741560179
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