You can sell to vulnerable people and make a killing.
You can also knock an old lady down and steal her purse.
But that doesn’t mean you should do it.
So what ethical standards should we uphold as marketers?
Is it ethical to market to children using a free toy as a bribe? Does it put undue pressure on parents?
Is it ethical to place sweets next to the checkout in supermarkets?
Is planned obsolescence ethical? Is it OK to design a product with a limited useful life, to encourage consumers to upgrade regularly?
Is it ethical to target vulnerable audiences in developing countries where consumers aren’t aware of skilled marketing techniques being used to persuade them?
Is it ethical to target ‘Dorothy Donor’ with fundraising asks because we know she’s given money before?
Mark Twain once said, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story”
But at The Really Helpful Marketing Company, we don’t want to be part of a profession that isn’t honest.
As marketers, we cannot allow ourselves to be pressured by sales targets into questionable practices.
We are not here to deceive; we are here to persuade.
Persuasion is an art.
And art should have integrity.
Let’s leave deception to the politicians.
#marketing #holierthanthou #bethechange