« What would you like to read about? | Main | Global vs. local - at Millward Brown »

12/29/2007

Ethics in marketing?

Couple of weeks ago I've met in person with Jaroslav and among other topics I've mentioned that I am rounding up an article on ethics for bodzlomu.cz From there we just briefly fired few thoughts on ethics in marketing.

Is there morale and/or ethics in marketing? Can there be? The answer is short NO and NO.

After a quirky path I got to a simple reasoning.

1. Money oriented economy needs SALES and BUYS = needs marketers.

2. Marketers look for ways to sell as much as possible of un-needed stuff.
2a. that causes: more unnecessary production
2b. that causes: more unnecessary waste
2c. that causes: more unnecessary ... whatever ...

Let's face it - we marketers aren't an ethical bunch. We don't sell dreams as some say, because dreams are to be dreamt not to be bought.

Those are simply the facts that we have to face - like it or not. I think it would be alibistic and a terrible lie to try to convince ourselves that things are different with marketing. On the other hand if we know this we can use more humane-friendly approaches. Let's say:

a. use eco-friendly packaging
b. in the marketing process making someone's life better (giving task A to company B instead of company A)
c. not cheating on the consumers (we offer this and this - in font size 1 it says: but only if you do this and this -> that's cheating)
d. don't abuse consumers by commercials
etc. etc. etc.

When we do this we have to watch out to stay on the path because:
Let's say your company decides to do eco-friendly packaging and part of it will be using soy-ink. Let's say your company produces gazillion whatevers packed in boxes that have soy-ink printing on them.

If you double you're production to two gazillions than you'll use up twice as much soy-ink. And if your Latin American producer of soy-ink will have to double production they'll need to have room to grow the soy - so maybe they just take down some more of Amazonian jungle. So where is the eco-friendly, humane approach?

Do you know what I mean?