6 Pros and Cons of Ethical Marketing

By Emily Pribanic - Last Updated on February 3, 2020
Pros and Cons of Ethical Marketing

To many consumers, it may not seem like ethics and marketing go hand-in-hand but they should. Ethical marketing not only benefits a business’s reputation and helps to protect customers but also the industry the business is in as well.

There are many advantages and disadvantages to ethical marketing and many ethical dilemmas you can face, no matter what industry you’re in. Following proper business ethics is the best way to not only improve your brand reputation and avoid public backlash but ensure that all stakeholders of your company, employees, customers, and suppliers, are benefitted.

So, what are some advantages and disadvantages of ethical marketing?


1. Avoid Punishment

When it comes to ethics and marketing, one of the best advantages of following business ethics is avoiding jail time or legal punishment. The main idea behind ethical marketing may be to ensure that everyone that comes into contact with your company is treated fairly and respectfully and to help build a positive brand reputation but a major benefit of all that is avoiding legal punishment. When your company adopts proper business ethics, you eliminate the costs associated with fines and lawsuits.

2. Workplace Culture

One of the greatest advantages of ethical marketing is creating a better workplace culture. When your company adopts a policy of ethical compliance, all employees are treated with respect and given equal access to advancement opportunities which makes the workplace a positive, nurturing environment. When your business adopts a strong ethical environment, employee relationships become stronger, employee turnover is reduced, morale is drastically improved, and productivity increases.

3. Customer Loyalty

For any company that wants to stay in business, building customer loyalty is the best way to achieve this. The best way to build customer loyalty is by practicing ethical marketing. When your company builds an ethical reputation, you create a more positive image of your company in the marketplace which increases WOM referrals and customer retention. Since we now live in a world where thousands of people can learn about any unethical practices of a company in an instant, practicing business ethics is the best way to not only increase customer loyalty but avoid public backlash as well.

4. Employee Retention

Practicing business ethics not only improves customer loyalty but employee loyalty as well. It can be very costly for a company when employee turnover is high but with proper business ethics, employees will want to work for your company for a long time. Employees care about working for a company that offers equal advancement opportunities and is honest with them about layoffs. When your company is fair and open with employees, talented workers will want to work for your business and stick around with the business for a long time.


1. Management Support

Market ethics are essential to protect your brand reputation and improve your workplace culture but business ethics do come with a few drawbacks. One drawback of practicing ethical marketing is that many compliance programs require management to be effective. This can become a major issue if members of the management team decide to apply their own version of corporate ethics to the way they manage their employees. This clash of principles can cause confusion among employees which makes people angry and upset.

2. Company Costs

It can be an expensive and time-consuming task to develop, implement, and maintain an ethical marketing compliance program within your business. Business ethics programs need to be constantly updated to reflect any workplace laws or changes in company culture. If your company is looking to create a business ethics program, it’s essential that you hire an ethics officer and make room in the budget for financial and personnel resources they might need.

There are many advantages and a few disadvantages to ethical marketing. While there may be a few disadvantages, ethical marketing is worth the practice and will be much more beneficial for your company in the long run. If you’re having trouble deciding if your company should practice business ethics or not, just remember that employees, customers, and the community surrounding your organization would much rather do business with an ethical company than a non-ethical one.

Emily Pribanic

Emily Pribanic | Emily is a graduate of the University of North Texas. She has her B.A. in Advertising with a concentration in Copywriting. Emily has been writing since she was young and has a creative imagination. She lives in Dallas, Texas with her family and two cats.

Emily Pribanic

Emily Pribanic | Emily is a graduate of the University of North Texas. She has her B.A. in Advertising with a concentration in Copywriting. Emily has been writing s...

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