The marketer’s code of ethics
Marketing can save the world. Or it can sit there like a turd you throw on businesses, hoping it’s fertilizer.
I think it’s up to us which way our industry goes. So, I started work on this code of ethics:
The code of ethics
- What I do affects businesses. It affects the jobs, lives and lifestyles of people in those businesses. I will always respect that.
- What I do can change public perception of ideas, products and people. I will always respect that, too.
- I will continuously improve my marketing skills. There’s always more to learn.
- I will use those skills to connect people to real value—the products and ideas that they need and want.
- I will never advise clients about areas of marketing I don’t truly understand.
- I will always tell clients the truth, even if that gets a little uncomfortable.
- I won’t work with clients who are deliberately deceiving their audience.
- I won’t work with clients who are breaking the law.
- I won’t steal. ‘Stealing’ includes theft of intellectual property (plagiarism, piracy and just plain cheating) and theft of real property.
- I won’t sell or market stuff that doesn’t exist, or that isn’t mine.
- I will always provide sound advice in the best interests of my clients’ long-term plans, unless doing so violates other parts of this code.
- I will help clients become smart consumers of marketing services, even as I work for them.
- ‘Stealing’ also includes charging clients for my expertise when I’m not an expert.
- I got here, in part, because other people gave advice, learning and time. I’ll do the same.
- What I do is my entire career. But it’s one tiny slice of my clients’ day-to-day work. I’ll be mindful of that.
- How well I follow this code impacts my entire profession, and people’s trust in media, communications and brands.
If you agree with this code, and want to see others follow it, tweet it. Post it to Facebook. E-mail it. Hell, put it on your own site (with citation, of course).
If you hate this and want something else, go for it. The discussion is as important as the result.