The purpose of this paper is to develop a single code of ethics that could be used regardless of the venue or specialty of the marketing professional. The paper first provides a literature review of research in the areas of ethics pertaining to marketing professionals. Then a review of a wide variety of codes of business ethics, marketing ethics, model codes, and professional ethics produces the idea that, while there are some differences in how the codal principles are presented, there are sufficient similarities in the codes' principles of professional conduct to merit the consideration of a single code of marketing ethics – one that can be used regardless of the venue or specialty of the marketing professional.
The paper introduces a broad literature review followed by the development of a transcendent code of ethics for all marketers.
Using the above as well as: historically and more broadly known theories of ethics, and currently‐used codes of professional marketing ethics, including those from the American Marketing Association (AMA), the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), and the Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI), the authors make an attempt to determine the most prominent, efficacious principles of ethics and to shape a single code of professional conduct for marketing students, educators and practitioners – regardless of their area of specialty.
The proposed code is subject to debate and will likely not be the model eventually used. The authors hope that the code proposed will stimulate further research, discussion and formulation.
A single code of ethics that could be utilized by anyone confronted with an ethical marketing issue would be useful in easing the difficulties associated with challenging ethical dilemmas in marketing.
Drawing on traditional frames of ethics and combining those principles with principles found in the marketing ethics literature, the authors generate a single code of ethics that not only marketers can use, but that others in society can also identify with and feel confidence in – thus alleviating concerns of mistrust or misunderstanding between those marketing products and services and the stakeholders in the society in which those products and services are being marketed.
No transcendent code of marketing ethics currently exists. The three most prominent are unique to their fields – each leaving out portions necessary to be transcendent. Thus, the proposed code is original and has the practical social implication values noted above.
Payne, D. and Pressley, M. (2013), "A transcendent code of ethics for marketing professionals", International Journal of Law and Management, Vol. 55 No. 1, pp. 55-73. https://doi.org/10.1108/17542431311303822Download as .RIS
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