Ethics are what we hold close to our hearts. They’re values or moral principles governing the conduct and actions of a group of people or individuals. It’s a behavioral standard with footholds in all spheres of human relations. Even business organizations have both written and unwritten ethics that they have to follow in dealing with their environment, customers, employees, etc.
The same thing goes for marketing. Every company or business organization has several ethical policies guiding advertising, pricing, competitive strategies, etc. Every party involved in a marketing deal has different expectations of how things should go, but marketing ethics guides them.
There is always something to learn from all forms of ethics, and marketing ethics is not any different. Here are some lessons that we can learn from it.
1. Market research
Part of the significant ethical problem that involves market research is stereotyping and invasion of privacy. Stereotyping might be a result of real population analysis, which puts individuals into groups and makes approximations. But if you do your research poorly, you can get some awful results due to stereotyping.
2. Market audience
Marketers may use selective marketing to prevent the undesirable audience from demanding for their product and also to disenfranchise them. Some of these unethical selective marketing tactics show themselves in the attitude of some brands to an ethnic minority, the gay community, and the plus-size market.
The emerging markets in some developing countries might have ethical issues with some vulnerable audience due to a lack of skilled marketing.
3. Unethical deceptive advertising
It is possible for members of the public not to notice a deceptive advert because of the different ways that it is presented to the target. One commonly used tool is humor. Humor gives relief from human constraint, and this is why some marketers deceptively leverage it to advertise products that can relieve the restriction using humor.
4. Pricing ethics
Bidding rigging. It even sounds scary. it’s a fraudulent act in which some parties present a bid for a commercial product just for the sake of making an appearance, but another party has been promised the commercial contract already.
There is also predatory pricing in which a company offers a service or products at a meager price to drive out competitors from the market or create barriers for potential competitors to enter. This is against marketing ethics.
5. Delivery channels
One of the most controversial channels of advertising is direct marketing. It is even more controversial when the approaches are totally unsolicited. Some common examples of this are direct mails and TV commercials. Telemarketing and electronic spam are also pushing far for the ethical and legality borders even more strongly.
6. Advertising and promotion ethics
A marketer that does not tell the truth is sinning against morality and the law. Even though the law allows puffery, there is just a tiny line between fraud and puffery. Some adverts sit well with some people but repulsive to others.
For instance, some think that advertising condoms promote promiscuity, but it interests others and is necessary for preventing AIDS. Sexual innuendos have become a significant part of the advertising content, some people regard it as a kind of sexual harassment.
7. Anti-competitive practices
There is fraudulent advertising that baits the customers into thinking they are getting a service and product for a low price only to discover later that the product or service advertised is not available, but they are switched to a more expensive product.
Ashley Simmons is a professional journalist and editor at dissertation service. She has been working in a newspaper in Salt Lake City for 4 years. She is a content writing expert in such topics as psychology, modern education, business, and marketing innovations. She is a master in her craft.