American Marketing Association’s (AMA) Code of Ethics
The author read the AMA’s Statement of Ethics to provide a personal opinion on whether or not the marketing community is adhering to the AMA’s code of ethics or conduct? Initially, the author was not able to locate the AMA Code of Ethics on the internet. An internet search identified a reference to the AMA Code of Ethics back to an AMA business conference held in October 2003 where the code was cited. The current AMA website identifies the name of the document to be the Statement of Ethics under the website heading “About AMA” (American Marketing Association, 2013). It appears based on the wording change that the AMA has reduced its commitment to promote ethical behavior by changing the Code of Ethics to a “statement” of ethics. Since one definition of the word code implies a principle or rule and the word statement does not, this change suggests that the AMA and its members may not have been able to adhere to a code of ethics or integrity in the past and are now only committed to a statement of ethics? The current AMA Statement of Ethics begins with a preamble which attempts, or maybe even struggles to define ethical norms or values for marketers. In the author’s opinion, the preamble is worded in such a way for the marketer to apply a broader interpretation that may serve to avoid a commitment. Examples of wording include “values represent the collective conception of what communities find as desirable, important of morally proper; or “as marketers, we recognize that we not only serve our organizations but also act as stewards of society in creating, facilitating and executing the transactions that are part of the greater economy”. Although the preamble does speak in general to a commitment to moral behavior; based on the loose meaning of the statements in the preamble and the ability of any marketer to “put a spin” on this language, in the authors opinion, the preamble seeks to provide the...
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