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Ethics in Marketing
Topic Paper
John Langevin
Management 321
Principles of Marketing
February 22nd, 2015

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of ethics in marketing and some examples of ethical and unethical marketing activities. Ethical marketing and ethics in general, has long been considered a grey area for most people because of the general subjectivity between right and wrong. One of the reasons why ethics is such a hot topic in today’s business world and society is the recent economic downturn and surplus of irresponsible corporate acts. This has brought ethics to the forefront and under the scrutiny of the American public, and for good reason.
We begin by asking the question: what is ethical marketing? Ethical marketing can be thought of as more of a philosophy that informs and guides all marketing efforts and less of a specific marketing strategy; ethical marketing seeks to promote fairness, honesty, and social responsibility in advertising. What this does is build trust between the company and its consumers. This trust can lead to further purchases and it reflects positively on the entire company. Ethics should be included in marketing strategy, planning, and every other facet of the business. Building ethics into the day to day business decisions and relationships is a large step towards integrating it throughout the organization. Ethical marketing is effective but so is unethical marketing. Unethical marketing can be effective, however, brand image can be affected negatively and it does little to build the long term relationships companies seek for return business (Ethical Marketing, n.d.).
The goal of marketing is to fulfill customer’s needs by way of a total company effort and to make a profit while doing so. Where this situation can be damaging is when a company takes too short-run of a view and neglects the long term implications of their actions (Perreault, 2015, p. 514). This was most apparent during the...

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