Friday, September 01, 2006

The Morals of Marketing


There has been some really interesting discussion on various blogs about the ethics of marketing, good and bad practice. Should consultants/planners/marketeers stand up and be a lone voice when clients want to or continue to tread a dangerous line with their brand.

It's been fuelled by comments picked up by Brand Tarot in regards to Coke's poor working practices worldwide, and specifically Rita Clifton's stance where she suggests that this isn't necessarily that big a problem for the brand given that "People are radical in research questionnaires and reactionary at the checkout … People like to carry on doing what they like doing".

Others have commented on this morally dubious statement, none better than Jon Howard's post here, as he argues "wrong is wrong" and rightly so.

The irony is that anyone who works with Coke knows their business is in HUGE trouble. So I suspect to some degree people will carrying on doing what they like doing, and if that means feeling better not buying coke then they will. (I still for the life of me cannot work out how Coke is still considered the world's number 1 brand).

So to add fuel to the fire, here's an article from the Washington Post demonstrating just how amoral marketing can be. OK no surprises it's the USgovernmentt/Military, and it's hardly news that they are attempting to manipulate the media to present a better picture of Iraq.

But when you consider there's a $20 million contract, and that PR firm's will be pitching for it, you have to question the morals of any firm even willing to take part..don't you?

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