Jonathan Rudden
Jonathan Rudden 1 June 2015

Does Ethical Marketing Really Exist?

In the drive and ambition to launch the next "big thing" or campaign, do we really consider ethical marketing nowadays?

In the capitalist world we live in, every hunger lion is hunting for the next big idea or company to take to the top and essentially make a global brand and name.

With this ideology, sometimes we lost what we believe in to get to where we wanna go, after all; sacrific is a part of business.

Sometimes we lose ourseleves or our principles to the corporate world all in the name of profit and success. Having said that, I question if ehtical marketing really does exist these day since we have such a high tolerance in the 21st century.

A very long and debated topic that arises from marketing in every though school in the world as well as college or university, is the question of ethics in marketing. Though every leader or CEO believes in it, we live in a world where talk is in fact really cheap and we are judged by our actions, on the stock exchange or in newspapers.

Is marketing really about deception?
Does marketing create demand?
Does marketing convey that buying product after product satisfy our needs and desires?

These are some of the long winded questions every manager, leader and directors asks themselves. Henceforth, does marketing ethics have a place in the corporate world? Or is it all a PR stunt aka a section in the annual report on "Corporate Social Responsibility"?

Dove is famous for its "real beauty" campaign, pushing away from photo shopped models and using "real women" in their marketing ads. Although I find it admirable and very inspiring to women everywhere; not all retail and cosmetic companies follow their way of thinking.

Lush, a company who proudly boasts against animal testing, has used some risque photos before as well as American Apparel to name but a few to create demand for their products as well as buzz on social media. Victoria Secret still has a size 2 and 4 model on their runways every season showcasing the newest and hottest looks.

Are these companies really depicting what the world really is? The USA is notorious for its average female size of a 10-12, so why do companies not still use "real" women? Do we live in a world driven by "ideal" versus "actual" self?

Google and Microsoft boast a very effective CSR policy every year in its annual report and well done to all the charities and communities they have supported. But raising money for a charity and creating more and more demand for your products every quarter? Is that ethical? Is it justifiable?

Don’t get me wrong, I consider myself ethical. However, from my college work, is "the business of business is business"?

Perhaps we live in a society where consumers expect a CSR policy regardless of what it actually means. Apple’s Foxconn, who has had a rocky past with organized group suicides, shocks consumers but yet millions around the world wait outside all night for the new iPhone.

It seems to me, its all just talk and very little action.

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