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In an effort to make the marketing process seamless and more efficient, marketers are surreptitiously and inextricably coupling information gathering and marketing. To understand the welfare implications of these practices better, this essay extends the conceptualization of covert marketing to include both information gathering and marketing communications. The authors present a multistage exchange framework that helps identify factors affecting marketer and consumer welfare when covert practices are used. They use the framework to discuss the benefits and harms related to these types of covert marketing practices as well as consumer reactions to such practices.
Milne, George R., Shalini Bahl, and Andrew Rohm. "Toward a Framework for Assessing Covert Marketing Practices." Journal of Public Policy & Marketing 27, no. 1 (2008): 57-62.