Marketing Ethics: a Simple Guide

Marketing ethics plays a crucial part in any business. Ethical problems within marketing usually stem from disagreements and conflicts.

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Anywhere in business, ethics plays a very important role. Ethical practices establish trust between researchers, consumers and businesses as well as providing a clear structure for any commerce.

All companies must use ethical marketing when it comes to pricing, any form of advertising and when it comes to strategies for dealing with competitors. Ethical marketing decisions should meet and suit the needs of customers, business partners and suppliers. 

Ethics within market research 

Market research ethics are moral principles that guide the conducting and analysing of research whilst avoiding deception to ensure that the service or product is legitimate. Market research companies should always take steps to ensure both participants and consumers are treated fairly and are respected. The market researcher has the duty of clearly stating whether responses will be kept confidential and anonymous before any participation begins.

It is crucial to understand and keep in mind the participant’s rights when it comes to conducting market research, such as focus groups, interviews and surveys.

Furthermore, researchers should allow all participants to remain anonymous if they request to be, and their right to confidentiality should always be respected. To be clearer, here’s a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to marketing ethics:


  • Protect consumer Data and Privacy
  • Be transparent and honest
  • Respond to concerns and revaluate


  • Stereotype
  • Make false comparisons
  • Over exaggerate or make any unverified claims

Ethics in advertising and promotion

The main purpose of advertising is to increase sales through brand awareness. If done correctly, it can appeal to a wide audience and generates more demand for the service or product advertised.

Many companies will claim that the product or service they are selling is better than what their competitors sell. Ethics come into play when the business is not able to back up their claims.

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