Ethics play an integral role in the development and sustenance of any personal or business relationship. Ethics determine the acceptable behaviors within a society and the overall behaviors of a business. Marketers must understand the impact ethics have on marketing communications and develop Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) strategies accordingly. This paper will discuss various ethical challenges facing marketers today, identify internal and external factors on IMC, and formulate two ethical questions based upon the analysis. Ethics in Marketing
The practice of ethics within an organization is an important but difficult concept to understand and practice. The reason ethics are difficult to manage is that the concept is so subjective (Duncan 2002, pp. 671). Ethical values differ between societies and individual relationships, therefore a company must decide on an ethical communication strategy and portray it as consistently as possible. Duncan (2002) describes three ethical considerations companies must understand when developing marketing communications and relationships with customers. Stereotyping
Stereotyping plays a significant role in developing marketing strategies that are both effective and ethical. "The challenge for brands is to develop messages that strike a chord with targeted audiences without reinforcing negative stereotypes" (pp. 672). Companies must ensure that their marketing tactics are not alienating certain individuals or groups while reaching the appropriate target market. In order to build and maintain profitable customer relationships, a company's marketing strategy should reflect the values of a diverse culture without the possibility for misinterpreted communication. Vulnerable Groups
The second ethical dilemma companies may encounter while developing marketing strategies is targeting vulnerable groups to increase profitability. The text describes vulnerable...