Ethical and socially responsible investment funds: Are they ethically and responsibly marketed?

Robert Watson (Instituto de Empresa Business School, Madrid, Spain)

Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance

ISSN: 1358-1988

Publication date: 10 May 2011



The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the marketing of ethical and socially responsible investment (ESRI) funds to retail investors and to analysis the plausibility of the claims made in regard to their performance, achievements and prospects.


The paper presents an analysis of the claims and marketing strategy adopted in the ESRI industry's Action Guide for Financial Advisors document, produced for their National Ethical Investing Week, 2010.


The analysis indicates that the ESRI fund industry's Action Guide uses a number of unethical marketing techniques to induce retail investors into investing in ESRI funds and that many of the claims made on behalf of ESRI investing are implausible. Given the past history of mis‐selling in the investment fund sector, these findings ought to be of some concern to regulators and retail investors.


This is the first article that has linked the promotion and marketing of ESRI funds to possible mis‐selling practices.



Watson, R. (2011), "Ethical and socially responsible investment funds: Are they ethically and responsibly marketed?", Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 100-110.

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