Social Media Moms

Is Ethical Marketing An Oxy-Moron?

8 Comments 29 May 2008

After serious thought, and reconsideration of her goals, Kimberly Bock, aka SpostareDuro, has changed “Learning SEO Basics - Search Engine Optimization for the Curious Newbie” to “Learning SEO Basics - Supporter of Ethical Marketing”………..

“I am on the lookout for marketers / bloggers that are actively involved with charitable organizations, environmental causes, and endeavors that are of benefit to the welfare of humanity, including marketers blogs that are focussed upon ethical marketing. Regular activity in something as simple as Facebook causes where games are played for free is a good and fun way to contribute as well as make terrific friends.”

Kimberly has been an inspiration to me. Whether it be the environment, animals or an overall world in need, she continually promotes the changes she wishes to see. Unfortunately, some don’t see it that way.

I recently wrote a post regarding SocialVibe, a social site designed to bring consumers and brands together for various causes, and some of the comments I received led me to the conclusion that some may not really believe that marketing and ethics can co-exist………..

By saying, “most international corporations are not your friend if you’re in for charity and good will”, is to assume that companies are appeasing their consciences by exploiting others with one hand as they give liberally with the other and that is pure ignorance.

The Marketing Man notes that “ethical marketing” can be a core operating value and explains it like this:

“According to a recently released white paper on that subject, ethical marketing is a model of ethical interactivity between businesses and consumers that includes seven practices – notice, choice, access, contact, security, horizon and intrusiveness.”

Essentially, it’s not that the companies are bad, what it boils down to is intent and social media does a great job in allowing the bullsh*t and truth to be revealed. Not only theirs but mine as well. Are we in it for ourselves or for others? How am I, as a consumer, using my blog, my business, or my social media tools to make the world a better place? I can tell you that Kimberly is on the right track. She is using her blogs to build a network of marketers that wish to be included in a community that is green minded, ethically secure, and positively rooted in online pursuits. Does that include you? I hope so because “the best contribution to marketing isn’t requested of someone else. It’s given”. What’s your contribution?

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8 Comments so far

  1. spostareduro says:

    thanks so much for all you said about me kristen. i dont know what to say. lately, i have gotten a lot of spankings from those i used to promote, because, as tad suggested, theres a fine line between those who show an ethical facade, but soon show their true colors. sometimes, as in the example of coca cola, it may take longer to expose and may even cause a large degree of damage in the meantime. but once exposed, we adjust accordingly, pass on what we’ve acquired, and hopefully others will do the same. this is how we combat the damage done.

    are we psychically capable of seeing the truth behind the lies? to me, if we want to practice ethical marketing, it means taking responsibility for who we promote, what we promote, and how we promote it. referring to the company, the product, the service and yes even the people performing the service / etc.

    awareness is key.

    until further notice, we should never assume that doing nothing is best. or worse yet, we should never assume that its ok to share the floor and contribute to those who prove themselves to be ‘ok’ with encouraging unethical mindsets.

    these injustices should send off alarm bells that say run. take what you can get while you can get it mindsets are also an alarm to me. it suggests greed and selfishness. which means its likely that they are the same 24/7 in everything else they do.

    i am trying to learn the best way to research marketers goings ons - work history etc..this is new to me, but im glad im on this mission more sooner than later. and i am glad you and i have met.

    any way you look at it, complacency is never going to create positive change. only activism. when a group gets together to discuss how to make the world a better one, it plants seeds of ‘i belong.’ when that feeling sets in and you know that you can be of service to families, friends, and the earth as a whole, your life becomes more fulfilling. giving..not taking, and promoting that vs i want it all and i want it yesterday, shows integrity and endurance, which are highly marketable as well.

    thanks again for the mention. :-)

  2. Joe Marchese says:

    @Tad Chef: Here’s the beauty of self selecting your sponsor; If these sponsors are not doing right by you, don’t pick them. In the short run, SocialVibe is all about turning media dollars into charitable donations. But as major corporations become more and more reliant on people to spread their message, people can more and more affect how that business behaves. Giving people the choice of who they support, hopefully, drives corporations to be even more ethical given they will rely on people not only to purchase, but be their media and marketing.

    While I don’t agree with your stance on the corporations stated above, no entity is perfect, much like no person is perfect, if this is your stance and people agree with you, they can choose to not support particular corporations and let them know why. In the end dialog is better at solving problems than silence. In the meantime we can try to do some good by turning billions in advertising into donations to charities that we all believe in.

  3. Dennis Edell says:

    One of the biggest problems is “not for profit” is turning into one of the biggest shams in history as more and more learn how to abuse it, and it’s turning many away from what should be an honorable thing.

    I certainly plan to do my part though. For instance, 2 (possibly 3) of my 5 nieces and nephews were born with juvenile diabetes, so you can bet that’s at least one organization that will get a percentage of me.

    I just need to get to the point where 95% of my profits aren’t going “back into the business” as the saying goes.

    As for ethics in marketing, I take some pride in feeling that I’m as “white hat” as you can get, and I don’t mean that in a strictly SEO capacity….I’ve already left a bit of cash on the table (at a time it is most needed) because the situations just didn’t feel right.

  4. Dennis Edell says:

    A little story if I may…..my dad used to tell us that any Veteran from back in his day won’t touch the Red Cross with one thin dime…nothing, nada.

    They used to SELL the doughnuts and such to the Armed Forces.

    That’s just wrong.

  5. Simon Slade says:

    A very thought provoking article. We need to hope that all companies, whether multinational corporations or small home businesses, operate in a way that is ethically and morally right so that personal wealth is not the only aim of individuals in this world.

  6. I think Simon Slade has just officially become my new hero. Simon, are you taken? haha 😉

  7. Simon Slade says:

    @Kimberly Bock
    I feel honoured! And sorry, I am taken!

  8. Bummer. *sniffle* *sniffle* it’s just not fair. :-(


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