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There is a litany of poor marketing and advertising practices remembered in a new survey from the New Statesman Media Group (New Statesman, Press Gazette, sustainable luxury lifestyle and ESG publishers).
From Fyre Festival to Kendall Jenner and Pepsi to demonstrate the dangers of collaborating with unethical influencers, to Volkswagen and their greenwashing scandal, examples of brands ignoring ethics are plentiful.
In this report, New Statesman Media Group disclosed which unethical tricks are considered the most heinous by senior marketers, business leaders and publishers, ranking the 7 choices in order of egregiousness.
There is a good reason for this report. Over the past year, marketing platform Semrush found there was a 200% increase in searches for ‘ethical marketing strategies’ between Jan and Dec 2021 in the UK.
The BBC followed this same line, citing a global review by management consultancy firm Accenture, which found “60% [of people] have made more environmentally friendly, sustainable, or ethical purchases since the start of the pandemic.
“Nine out of 10 of that percentage were likely to continue doing so.”
- Responders were asked to choose from the following malevolent strategies:
- Greenwashing (brand a product as eco-friendly, green or sustainable when such claims are false)
- Concealing important information (omit certain details which happen to be vital)
- Targeting the vulnerable (deliberately target consumers who least need the product or service in question)
- Non-transparent data use (use consumer data in a non-advertised fashion)
- Collaborating with unethical influencers (partner with the wrong type of influencer or on the wrong subject)
- Clickbait article headlines (calls to action do not deliver on promises)
- Newsjacking (boost a brand by aligning with current events or cultural issues)
Representatives from Henley Business School, Raconteur, Mindshare, Faze Digital, Bloc, Energy PR, Klaviyo and The Global Marketing Alliance all supplied comments.
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