HomeSynergeiavol. 3 no. 1 (2009)

Why Ethics Should Matter in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)

Marina Caterina Lorenzo-molo

Discipline: Marketing, Business



It is regrettable that despite widespread acceptance of relational models, much focus on building and maintaining relationships, high visibility of marketing activities, and global integration of markets and marketing, comprehensive theorizing on marketing ethics has been conspicuously lacking in the literature. There are only five normative frameworks in marketing ethics research: Laczniak, 1983; Williams & Murphy, 1990; Reidenbach & Robin, 1990; Smith, 1995; and Dunfee, Smith, & Ross, 1999. Interestingly, while the publication of articles on marketing ethics increased consistently from 1981 to 2005, the rate of increase from 2001 to 2005 was the lowest (Nill & Schibrowsky, 2007). Normative articles that provided “advice on how to behave ethically almost completely vanished” (Nill & Schibrowsky, p. 263). It is acknowledged that even among industry practitioners, ethics is rarely a concern, much less talked about (Drumwright & Murphy, 2004). Even the definition of marketing by the American Marketing Association (AMA) ignores the moral responsibility of marketers (Mick, 2007). Thus, it comes as no surprise that numerous ethical issues have continued to plague marketing over time.