Publication Details

Jones, S. C. & Hall, D. V. (2006). Ethical issues in social marketing. Proceedings of the 3rd Australasian Non-profit and Social Marketing Conference Newcastle,10-11 August 2006, Australia: University of Newcastle.


"As a community ofprofessionals we have adopted no standards of ethics and it is probable that most of our community has not read or analysed the guidelines set up for either commercial advertising or commercial marketing" (Smith, 2001) Unfortunately, deciding what is ethical in social marketing (as in marketing in general) is rarely simple. In most cases, there is not a definitive right and wrong; for example, it is often the case that we are dealing with controversial products or sensitive behaviours (e.g., contraceptives and central practices) and/or two principles which are seen to be "right" by different groups are in conflict (e.g., pro-life versus pro-choice). Further, it is a well recognised fact in social marketing that what we are often dealing with is a trade-off between individual and community good (e.g., the right of the individual to smoke a cigarette, which is currently a legal product, versus the right of others to be protected from passive smoking).