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This week, I’m curating a session at day two of Mumbrella 360. When I proposed the topic for inclusion in the crowd sourced part of the conference, I expected a couple of votes, but apparently it had a flood of response. So even us jaded industry types seem to feel that it’s an issue we all face – how to behave ethically in an industry generally regarded as having the worst reputation for trustworthiness after used car salesmen.

I’m delighted to have a panel of some of the industry’s finest minds who have, it’s fair to say, very different approaches to ethics.

  • Joe Talcott, Chairman, AANA
  • Peter Biggs, MD, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
  • Max Markson, Markson Sparks
  • Andrew Varasdi, managing partner, Banjo Advertising

I’ll be asking them for their responses to a series of hypothetical scenarios.

We’ll be examining issues that might include: advertising to children, online privacy and transparency, green or pink washing, planting phony stories in the media, the treatment of staff in agencies, what responsibility bosses have to their teams, whether there’s a difference between ethics and the law as far as advertising is concerned…

Is there a single critical ethical issue in marketing you think must be addressed, or a dilemma you’d like to hear a response to?

Is the business of causing people to want things they arguably don’t need fundamentally unethical? Is seeking to manipulate behaviour to increase product sales in effect treating consumers like idiots..?

I hope to see you on Wednesday, where you can ask the question in person, or alternatively, leave your comments here.

2 thoughts on “Telling Lies to Idiots? Advertising, ethics and corporate responsibility

  1. Here’s a question:
    I’d be interested in the panel’s view on use of data mining and publicly accessible consumer information. For example, is it ok to use s person’s social graph without explicit permission? Case in point -> Intel’s Museum of Me. But beyond that. It could have gone deeper. Where do you draw the line?

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