While global economic conditions create incentives for new market entry and expansion strategies, the environmental factors affecting these strategies must be fully considered. For example, the international marketer will encounter unfamiliar laws and policies that can create confusion about standards and require changes in marketing philosophy and practice. This article utilizes a general marketing planning framework to examine the effects of government policy on marketing activities. Using the European Union as an example, the discussion includes an overview of policy inputs to international marketing decisions, specific legislation related to marketing strategy, and impending issues that may affect marketing decision making in the future. The article incorporates a proactive orientation toward the marketing policy environment through a review of both current laws and other topics with a legal and political component. The information presented is useful to international marketing managers and educators for understanding the effects of government policy on the international marketing planning process.
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