To what extent are ethics important to consider in contemporary marketing?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Ethics are very important to consider in contemporary marketing.  There are two main reasons for this.  First, the internet makes it very easy for firms’ marketing efforts to be scrutinized and discussed among many people.  Second, more people today are concerned with firms’ ethics and want to be associated with ethical companies.  These two factors mean that companies that are not ethical in their marketing can do serious harm to their own profitability.

In the modern world, every company is in danger of having any unethical actions that it takes publicized.  In the past, a person who noticed unethical dealings on the part of a company would have a hard time raising public awareness of that conduct.  Today, the internet makes it very easy to make a big deal out of ethical lapses on the part of firms.  Companies need to assume that anything that they do wrong will be made public.  This makes it important for them to be ethical in their marketing practices.

People today are also more likely (particularly in rich countries) to care about the ethics of the companies they deal with.  They do not want to support companies that have bad ethics.  This means that ethical lapses can lead to a loss of customer support, which is something that no company wants to risk.

People working in marketing have to be very aware of ethics.  They have to realize that any unethical practices that they engage in will be publicized and may very well reduce the profitability of their firms.

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