Perceived common myths and unethical practices among direct marketing professionals

Journal of Business Ethics 8 (12):975 - 979 (1989)
Abstract
Two arcas of continuing interest to direct marketing professionals are the perceived myths and unethical practices in the field. Documentation of specific cases and more abstract discussion of these two points of interest frequently appear in the direct marketing literature (e.g. Gitlitz and Barton, 1983; Lewis, 1982; Pierce, 1985). Indeed, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has promulgated specific guidelines (DMA, 1985) for ethical business practices within the industry. Up to this point, however, there has been no attempt at a systematic evaluation of the perceptions of professionals in the field.Such an evaluation of these two areas of practice would appear to beg the following questions: (1) What are the major common myths which abound in direct marketing as perceived by professionals who come into direct contact with the operations of direct marketing organizations? (2) Which of these so-called myths are most requently mentioned? (3) What are the most commonly perceived unethical practices? (4) Which of these unethical practices are most frequently mentioned by direct marketing professionals? (5) To what extent do these perceived unethical practices coincide with the industry's own guidelines?
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