Seth Godin recently wrote a post on marketing ethics at his blog that has marketers talking.
I applaud Seth's passion and his clever way of addressing marketing ethics in his book "All Marketers are Liars." It's a topic our profession needs to dialogue on and care about.
I realize that business ethics books don't sell very well, so I'll keep this short and hope you'll look at Seth's post. Seth's point is that marketers take on personal responsibility for the decisions they make that they cannot rationalize away. I think he is dead on and am delighted to see him take on this important topic. Persuading managers on the merits and importance of thought and discourse on ethics is easily the most challenging area of business to tackle -- especially for those farthest from ethical behavior.
I could try, but I doubt I can write it any better than Seth did in his final sentences:
"We're responsible for what we sell and how we sell it. We're responsible for the effects (and the side effects) of our actions.It is our decision. Whatever the decision is, you need to own it. If you can't look that decision in the mirror, market something else."