Ethical Marketing: Advantages and Disadvantages

Subject: Business Ethics
Pages: 2
Words: 558
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Master

The main goal of successful marketing is to make sure that the customers’ needs are satisfied so that they would want to buy the product or use the service again. In other words, it should bring joy and benefit to the buyers. Over recent years the reputation of an organization has gained particular importance as a criterion for its effectiveness, reliability, and usefulness of its products. That fact forces businesses to practice ethical marketing to make a good name for themselves. According to researchers, there are a number of factors that motivate companies to practice ethical marketing, including “rising customer expectations, government legislation, pressure, and many others” (Dincer & Dincer, 2014). However, not many corporations are ready or willing to practice practise socially responsible marketing. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the activities of the enterprise should not damage the environment or endanger people’s lives in any other way. For this reason, company leaders should consider implementing different strategies to conduct business in non-harmful ways.

The concept of ethical marketing emphasizes the principle of social responsibility. It means that the company’s goal should not be only about meeting the needs of consumers, but also about ensuring the well-being of society as a whole. That statement comes from the fact that any organization is a part of society and, therefore, can be held accountable for its actions. Ethical marketing can even be considered a philosophy rather than a strategy. In practice, it comes in a variety of forms, from honest advertising that consumers can trust in building strong relationships with audiences based on a common set of values. Companies that focus on ethical marketing assess their decisions not only from a business perspective but also from a moral one.

One of the striking examples of balancing success with being ethical is McDonald’s activities. In order not to lose a significant part of its customers, the company has improved its “supply chain, employees’ work-conditions, their treatment of animals, their stores, food, and customer service to offer leaner, healthier and more upmarket products” (Lee & Lambert, 2017, p. 394). In addition, as a corporation that works in the industry that is closely connected with the environment, McDonald’s takes measures to ensure proper waste disposal and conservation of natural resources. Another good example is operations that are conducted by Coca-Cola. For instance, the organization launches charity programs, including Education on Wheels or the American Indian College Education Fund Health (Gurnani, 2015). By funding these initiatives, the company managed to improve its reputation.

In conclusion, it would appear that ethical marketing is a complex and long-term strategy that includes continuous development, activism, and campaigning. Nevertheless, despite the challenges and additional expenditures marketing with integrity is especially important nowadays. As a leader, to conduct my business activities ethically, I would make regular donations from the sales for charity. For example, it would be helpful to start a fund to support sick children or animal protection initiatives. Organizing events to bring awareness about certain problems would also be a good idea to create a positive image for the company. However, aside from making a reputation for the organization, I would also be more cautious of the harm done to the environment by my business. Protecting my employees’ rights for good working conditions and fair compensations is another way to manage ethical aspects of my work.


Dincer, C., & Dincer, B. (2014). An overview and analysis of marketing ethics. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 4(11), 151-158.

Gurnani, R. M. (2015). Globalization and ethical challenges. The Business & Management Review, 5(4), 116-122.

Lee, A., & Lambert, C. (2017). Corporate social responsibility in McDonald’s Australia. Asian Case Research Journal, 21(02), 393-430.