Ethics in Marketing
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Ethics in Marketing
Articles and news about ethics in advertising and marketing.
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Fake-News Sites Inadvertently Funded by Big Brands

Fake-News Sites Inadvertently Funded by Big Brands | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
Ads from well-known companies often appear on sites with false or misleading news, helping them generate tens of thousands of dollars in monthly revenue.
Jennifer Beever's insight:
I think this should be left up to the brands. If sensational headlines get readers to a site where there are ads, isn't that OK? For years in print we've had gossip rags that exaggerate the news like The National Enquirer. It served a certain demographic. Maybe what Facebook, Google and others can do is prevent hateful, racial, and sexist content, but if fake news doesn't harm anyone it can serve advertisers. The advertisers have to decide if they want their brand associated with sketchy news. What do you think? Should Google, Facebook and others block ads from fake news sites?
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Facebook Overestimated Key Video Metric for Two Years

Facebook Overestimated Key Video Metric for Two Years | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
Ad buyers and marketers are upset with Facebook after learning the tech giant miscalculated the average time people spent watching video ads on its platform.
Jennifer Beever's insight:
A new inflate-gate? Facebook fudged its numbers shared with advertisers for engagement of videos.
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Scott Walker’s campaign is selling donors’ email addresses

Scott Walker’s campaign is selling donors’ email addresses | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
His US presidential bid went belly-up, and he's selling email addresses to pay it off.
Jennifer Beever's insight:
According to the Wisconsin Gazette, apparently this campaign is selling your names to a company that rents out Republican email lists. So, at least they didn't sell your info to the Democrats? Or worse?
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Anonymous Feed-ing Frenzy

Anonymous Feed-ing Frenzy | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
Anonymous Feed-ing Frenzy - 04/13/2016

Yesterday a most damning, yet in my opinion poorly sourced, story appeared in the Financial Times. The story claimed BuzzFeed had missed its revenue target for 2015 and slashed internal projections for 2016 by about half.... ...What’s most bogus to me about the story is that the Financial Times does not have one person on the record, instead relying on three people with knowledge of the situation, to back the claim that BuzzFeed had allegedly projected $250 million in revenues for 2015, but generated less than $170 million.
Jennifer Beever's insight:
Yes, writers and journalists, stop and check for proven sources before you publish your "irresponsible, clickbait story."
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FCC's Set-Top Box Proposal To Include Privacy Rules

FCC's Set-Top Box Proposal To Include Privacy Rules | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
FCC's Set-Top Box Proposal To Include Privacy Rules - 02/10/2016
Jennifer Beever's insight:
The telecom and cable companies can collect viewing behavior data that, if combined with data Facebook and Google collect, could be incredibly powerful. The FCC will try to regulate how the data is collected and used.
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Mini Law Lesson: The FTC's New Native Ad Guidelines

Mini Law Lesson: The FTC's New Native Ad Guidelines | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
Here's what you need to know about the Federal Trade Commission's new rules for native ads, according to attorney Brian Heidelberger.
Jennifer Beever's insight:
Here Is a good video wth the do's and don'ts about native advertising. I always thought this was a good way to reach targeted audiences, since typically I saw these as text ads in member eLetters. But, note that this applies to ALL forms of ads inserted in content - even in a video game!
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VW To Ditch 'Das Auto' Tagline

VW To Ditch 'Das Auto' Tagline | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
Volkswagen is getting rid of its Das Auto slogan in search of humility.
Jennifer Beever's insight:
Maybe their slogan should be, "we're sorry?"
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Chief Coca-Cola scientist leaves amid criticism over obesity research

Chief Coca-Cola scientist leaves amid criticism over obesity research | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it

Rhona Applebaum, Coca-Cola’s chief scientist and health officer, is stepping down from the company. The news follows reports that Applebaum helped set up a nonprofit research group tasked with downplaying the role of sugary drinks in the obesity epidemic and highlighting the benefits of exercise.

Jennifer Beever's insight:

 Are you SERIOUS? Sometimes marketing ethical situations arise because a company covered up a defect rather than taking action to resolve the problem and provide restitution to anyone that suffered. Or, a CEO says something stupid, harming an individual or a group of people and doesn't quickly apologize.

 

But to have Coca-Cola’s chief scientist and health officer knowingly start up a non-profit research center with a purpose of twisting health facts and claiming that Coke (aka sugar water) isn't a detriment to health. The research group came out with a finding that Coke's high calories and zero nutrition is not the problem, but rather people need to exercise.

 

And, what about the professor at University of Colorado that led the research team? He and the university knowingly took $1.5 million in funding from Coca-Cola. What kind of example is he setting to the students? What does this say about professors? About the University of Colorado?

 

Thanks to my colleague Roger Gillott, PR Pro, and Eden Gillott Bowe, President, of Gillott Communications, for mentioning this news in a recent blog post (which I will post to this topic next!). Gillott Communications is a Strategic PR firm that does Crisis & Reputation Management. Litigation. Media Relations. Crisis Prep.

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S.I. woman must pay $1G fine for bashing business on Yelp - NY Daily News

S.I. woman must pay $1G fine for bashing business on Yelp - NY Daily News | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
The reviews are in — and they’ll cost a Staten Island woman $1,000.
Jennifer Beever's insight:
Well, this is interesting! If you review a business online, stick to the facts of why you are unhappy and don't call the business owner names.
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Burger King Wants Peace McWhopper, McDonald's Not Lovin' It

Burger King Wants Peace McWhopper, McDonald's Not Lovin' It | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
Burger King wants a peaceful McWhopper, while McDonald's knocks down its rival's stunt.
Jennifer Beever's insight:

In our opinion, McDonald's is being real when Burger King proposed a cheesy (pun intended) marketing stunt. Burger King proposed a McWhopper collaboration day on Peace Day, September 21, but McDonald's said let's do something to bring real peace to the world.

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LinkedIn To Pay $13 Million To Settle Battle Over Email Invites

LinkedIn To Pay $13 Million To Settle Battle Over Email Invites | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
LinkedIn has agreed to pay $13 million to resolve a class-action lawsuit accusing it of misappropriating users' names by sending email invitations to their friends, according to court papers filed
late on Thursday.
Jennifer Beever's insight:

It's not OK to automatically email your members' friends and invite them to join your network.

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Facebook 'Likes' And Pinterest Photos Can Be Endorsements, FTC Says

Facebook 'Likes' And Pinterest Photos Can Be Endorsements, FTC Says | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
"Liking" a company on social media -- or posting a photo of one of its products to Pinterest -- can be an endorsement, the Federal Trade Commission said today in new guidance about online
endorsements. "Simply posting a picture of a product in social media, such as on Pinterest, or a video of you using it could convey that you like and approve of the product. If it does, it's an
endorsement," the FTC says in a new update to its endorsement guides.
Jennifer Beever's insight:

This is something to watch - whether or not people are going to be sanctioned for endorsing things on social media by liking or posting them. Already the FTC believes that bloggers are a different class than the media. If a reviewer for a newspaper reviews a product, it is assumed the reviewer didn't buy the product, but it was purchased by the paper or given by the company who made the product. Therefore media personnel don't have to disclose if they received the product for free when they review it. But because bloggers are individuals, they must disclose whether or not they received a gift of the product in return for the review....

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Biggest, Fastest, Tallest: Marketing with superlatives

Biggest, Fastest, Tallest: Marketing with superlatives | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it

The UAE is full of superlatives. Today, thanks to David Haddad,David Meerman Scot visited the top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world's tallest building. Later, at Abu Dhabi's Ferrari World (the world's largest indoor theme park), he rode the world's fastest roller coaster (zero to 240 km/hr in 4.9 seconds). He rounded out his day with a few downhill runs at Ski Dubai, the largest indoor snow park in the world.

Jennifer Beever's insight:

I blogged about the use of superlatives in marketing today and used this quote from David's article: "This kind of superlative marketing strategy is tricky because someone can always trump you."

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Apple Tackles Ad Fraud By Purging The App Store

Apple Tackles Ad Fraud By Purging The App Store | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
Apple Tackles Ad Fraud By Purging The App Store - 09/07/2016
Jennifer Beever's insight:
This is good news, since it's scary to thing that an app you download could contribute to ad fraud.
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Spotify vs. Apple comes to Washington

Spotify vs. Apple comes to Washington | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
Lawmakers including Sen. Elizabeth Warren are paying attention to the fight.
Jennifer Beever's insight:
FTC is looking at this situation where a distributor of a service has become a competitor to the company offering the service. Apple extracted a commission when someone subscribed to Spotify through the app. Spotify took out the app subscription option so new subscribers sign up online, avoiding the commission. Apple has a streaming music subscription now. Who is right? Is anyone wrong?

I'm not sure Apple's fee of 30% for every purchase through the app is fair, but I think Spotify should pay to use the channel. Spotify is justified in offering online subscriptions as well. Let the consumer choose.

Personally, i tend to like the Spotify's of the world - vendors who exist for one purpose - to sell music subscriptions. I'm not a fan of distribution channels like Apple who extract fees from their own customers and then offer a competing service as well!
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Brands Post Tributes to Prince, but Struggle to Make Them Heartfelt and Not Promotional

Brands Post Tributes to Prince, but Struggle to Make Them Heartfelt and Not Promotional | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
It's a tragic day, as one of the most gifted musicians of the modern era has passed. Despite his moniker, Prince, who died Thursday at 57, was a king among men and will live on only through memory and the hours of powerful and provocative music he left behind.
Jennifer Beever's insight:
Newsjacking alert: Thanks @adweek for calling out Cheerios, 3M, and Hamburger Helper for jacking Prince's untimely demise. Some of the brands took their Tweets down when they got pushback from fans! Sheesh!

Also check out the Adweek article for good uses of social media to pay tribute to Prince. Businesses in his home state or others that just expressed sadness using HIS brand did it right.
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FCC Set-Top-Box Plan Creates 'Gaping Hole In Consumer Privacy,' Cable Industry Says

FCC Set-Top-Box Plan Creates 'Gaping Hole In Consumer Privacy,' Cable Industry Says | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
FCC Set-Top-Box Plan Creates 'Gaping Hole In Consumer Privacy,' Cable Industry Says - 02/16/2016
Jennifer Beever's insight:
FCC wants to allow companies other than cable to make set top boxes or alternative technologies to make it easier for consumers to watch tv. Cable companies don't want to lose their monopoly on set top box rentals and the data they control.The new plan will lead to lower costs for consumers and better technology.
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Maid Service Charged With Punishing Customers For Angry Yelp Reviews

Maid Service Charged With Punishing Customers For Angry Yelp Reviews | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
Steve Yojin Yun, the owner of two cleaning services – West Coast Maids and California Maids – has been charged with seven counts of identity theft.
Jennifer Beever's insight:
Oops, another person getting in trouble for misusing Yelp. In this case it's the business owner trying to bribe customers into removing negative reviews. His possible punishment if convicted, Is "up to seven years in jail and/or a $7,000 fine, according to city officials." Business owners should not try to manipulate reviews. Best to provide great service and products and resolve problems quickly!
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FTC Spells Out Its Guidelines for Native Ads

FTC Spells Out Its Guidelines for Native Ads | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
"I think we can expect 2016 to be the year of the FTC bringing native advertising cases," said advertising attorney Linda Goldstein.
Jennifer Beever's insight:
Native ads are those that appear in the format of a publication or other source so that it is hard to distinguish the ad from other content. An example would be an advertorial in a magazine or a text ad in an eLetter. These ads must be marked as advertisements upon first contact with the consumer; it is not enough to provide a disclaimer once a consumer has already clicked through.
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Not So Secret

Not So Secret | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
"At the length, truth will out." ~ Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, 1596 Some lessons are never really learned. Such as that secrets seldom stay secret for long. Certainly not forever. Hard as ...
Jennifer Beever's insight:

Thanks to Gillott Communications for this blog post. The situations mentioned,

 

- Takata auto parts manipulating test results,

 

- Coca-Cola setting up a non-profit research center to fabricate news that Coke isn't the problem, people need to exercise more,

 

- Exxon lying to the public about and funding groups to dismiss climate change'

 

are just some of many egregious things that companies are doing. In recent years, think GMC and the faulty ignition problem, Volkswagen falsifying emissions tests, Johnson & Johnson covering up defects in medical devices, asbestos, tobacco industry, and more.

 

Why does this involve marketing? Because marketing is the communications arm of the company. Today, not only does marketing have to deal with the media, but also with the public on social media. Bad news travels faster than it used to.

 

It's marketing's job to be the outward-facing communication for a company. When communications don't happen when there is a problem, that is part of marketing's job. As mentioned in this article, the truth usually comes out, so it's better to address issues fast and fully.

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Is Advertising's Dirty Secret Out Of The Bag? 10/22/2015

Is Advertising's Dirty Secret Out Of The Bag? 10/22/2015 | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
Is Advertising's Dirty Secret Out Of The Bag? - 10/22/2015
Jennifer Beever's insight:
Are big media agencies placing ad buys in the best interest of their clients, or in the agencies' best interest, to gain the largest rebates? (Rebates are given for bulk ad buys.) Interesting article as new generations and new technologies demand transparency in business.
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Most Kids' Apps Still Fall Short On Privacy Disclosures, FTC Says

Most Kids' Apps Still Fall Short On Privacy Disclosures, FTC Says | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
Developers of childrens' apps are improving their privacy disclosures, but most apps for kids still fall short, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Jennifer Beever's insight:
App and promotional creators need to understand COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) before they ask kids foe their data.
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A Timely Pivot

A Timely Pivot | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
Sometimes people get it right, either because they have good instincts or because they receive wise counsel. Whole Foods did it right (ultimately). "Straight up, we made mistakes. We want to own th...
Jennifer Beever's insight:

This is a great post about how Whole Foods finally admitted they were wrong in overcharging customers. They only did so when forced to by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs after a year of warnings.

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JWT, Group SJR Partner In New Content Marketing Venture

JWT, Group SJR Partner In New Content Marketing Venture | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
The new venture, called Colloquial, will create publishing environments for brands, specializing in content designed to build loyalty and audience over time -- short articles, infographics and visual
stories for brands that are quickly conceived, made and shared. The new venture will be overseen by Alexander Jutkowitz, managing partner at Group SJR, who is adding the title of CEO, Colloquial.
Jennifer Beever's insight:

Well-known agencies are collaborating to leverage the Content Marketing opportunity!

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Oracle Partners With Ghostery to Let Clients Hunt for Data Leaks

Oracle Partners With Ghostery to Let Clients Hunt for Data Leaks | Ethics in Marketing | Scoop.it
Oracle hopes an integration with Ghostery's data leakage visualization system keeps it ahead of the pack.
Jennifer Beever's insight:

I didn't know much about Ghostery, and now I understand a little of what it can do for consumers (I added it to my browser so that I can see how I'm being tracked on each web page I visit).

 

This article is about how Ghostery can be used for Enterprise marketers who want to find out what advertising companies are gathering data about their users.

 

This visibility is especially important when the ad companies may not be paying the business for the data - just taking it from the website as I understand it! But, it's also important to notify site visitors about how their data is or may be used!

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