The ethics of marketing good corporate conduct

Journal of Business Ethics 41 (1-2):121 - 129 (2002)
Companies that contribute to charitable organizations rightly hope that their philanthropic work will also be good for the bottom line. Marketers of good corporate conduct must be especially careful, however, to market such conduct in a morally acceptable fashion. Although marketers typically engage in mild deception or take artistic license when marketing goods and services, these sorts of practices are far more morally troublesome when used to market good corporate conduct. I argue that although mild deception is not substantially worrisome with respect to the marketing of most goods and services, it is a far greater moral blunder to use such methods in the marketing of good corporate character. These erode trust and demonstrate alack of adequate respect for the moral good. In light of these concerns, I suggest that such practices must be re-examined when applied to the marketing of corporate character and good conduct. Finally, I develop a revised set of ethical guidelines that are needed in order to address the problems peculiar to the marketing of morally praiseworthy behavior.
Keywords advertising ethics  business ethics  corporate character  corporate philanthropy  marketing
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DOI 10.2307/25074910
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