The Use (and abuse) of ISO 9000 Certification Marks in Promotional Materials in Malaysia

Hazman Shah Abdullah, Raja Munirah Bt Raja Mustapha, Maniam Kaliannan, Abdul Jalil Mohd Ali


As commerce becomes complex and global, businesses, customers and even regulators become reliant on the quality certifications or badges for simplifying their choices. Some disquiet has surfaced within the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) about the rampant misuse of the quality certification marks. This study looks at how Malaysian firms have fared in the use of the ISO 9000 certification marks in the promotional materials. Seventy two advertisements appearing in 3 national dailies were collected and studied for compliance with the guidelines on the use of certification marks. The sampled firms generally have not observed the ISO guidelines. The extent of non-compliance of the guidelines is arguably serious. The lingering questions about the disconnect between quality and ethics are likely to continue from the evidence adduced here.

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