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Ethics and regulation in direct marketing

Steve Brubaker (InfoCision Management Group, Inc., Akron, Ohio, USA)

Direct Marketing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1750-5933

Article publication date: 3 April 2007




The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role and importance of ethical and socially responsible activities within the context of direct marketing.


The paper considers some of the prominent ethical and legal issues related to direct marketing in the context of the US market. It has been designed to make those involved in direct marketing activities more cognizant of potential pitfalls in the areas of ethics, social responsibility, and legal compliance and how to effectively address these issues.


In terms of ethical behavior, social responsibility, and legal restrictions, these will need to be integrated, both strategically and tactically, into all aspects of direct marketing activities. This is illustrated through anecdotal evidence, industry sources, real‐life/real‐time examples, and industry standards and regulations.


The underlying value of the paper is that, beyond showing the importance of ethical, socially responsible, and legal behavior on the part of the direct marketing firm it also provides guidelines as to how individual firms can establish a culture that fosters not just ethical and socially responsible behavior on the part of the firm and its employees, but also leads to higher levels of long‐term success.



Brubaker, S. (2007), "Ethics and regulation in direct marketing", Direct Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 55-58.



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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited