Social Marketing: Perspectives and Viewpoints

By William Lazer; Eugene J. Kelley | Go to book overview

the consumer. We must guard the integrity of our media, whether these are a national television network or a field researcher's work sheet. Our goal is in view, although we may but imperfectly realize it--namely, full and free and open communication between buyer and seller.

Have business practices become less ethical, or has business consciousness become more ethically sensitive? Are ethics relative to time, place, and circumstances? The author presents a schematic plan for analyzing the variables inherent in the ethics of decision making and proposes a framework for the development of social and personal ethics.


18. A MODEL FOR ETHICS IN MARKETING*

Robert Bartels

Interest expressed in business ethics has not always been identified as a concern for ethics alone. Thus, demands for standards of ethics have grown up in defense of various rights--of labor, of competitors, of the community.

Emerging social consciousness in defense of rights was indicated in legislation such as the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act. Direct concern for business ethics appeared strongly during the 1920s. The business literature of that period contains many titles dealing with ethics per se, such as "Adventures on the Borderlands of Ethics," "The Ancient Greeks and the Evolution of Standards in Business," "Book of Business Standards," "The Ethics of Business," and "Christian Ideals in Industry."

Each recurrence of interest in ethics has raised the question: Have business practices become less ethical, or has business consciousness become more ethically sensitive?

Whichever it may be at this time, several aspects of the present interest are symptomatic of our times. First, tests of ethics are applied to problems of our day: to price-fixing and to price-cutting, to deceptive labeling and to advertising, to coercive trade practices, and to conflicts of interest in a pluralistic society. Second, concern is shown for ethics

____________________
*
Reprinted from "A Model For Ethics in Marketing," Journal of Marketing, Vol. 31 ( January 1967), pp. 20-26.
Ohio State University.

-204-

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