As well as the entire business world, marketing has its own ethics problems. Numerous marketing specialists or their representatives have consciously declared and adopted different engagements, declarations or codes of rules regarding the necessity that marketing people consider ethics regulations and values, so that they become much more responsible towards the members of society. These declarations or rules concern marketing practices in their ensemble or are guided towards certain specific fields. Among these fields, a special place is occupied by marketing communication, which has to be guided by ethical regulations and moral values.
Key words: ethics, regulation, marketing, communication, instruments. 1. Introduction
Business world mutations, as well as the change of mentality regarding the way business are done, have led to the necessity of analysing the fairness of this process not only from a judicial point of view, but also from the moral point of view. As a result, a new discipline has been conceptualised - business ethics. This discipline is situated on the line between moral philosophy and management, which implies the utilisation of a set of useful instruments for deciding upon company strategies, solving conflicts between different groups that interact within a business: employers and employees, managers and stake holders, company and the local community, state institutions etc. As moral principles or ethics codes, ethics is applied in human resources management, crisis management, marketing communication of all kind: branding, public relations, publicity (Diaconu, 2006).
Ethics cannot be simply reduced to respecting the law, as judicial regulations often prove to be insufficient in order to correspondingly administer relations with the others.
2. The conceptual frame
Economic ethics (business ethics) constitutes an ensemble of moral rules and regulations with respect to agents’ behaviour in the economic activity (in business) and, together with law principles and regulations, ensure the good course of activities and the success in business (Dobrota, 1999, p. 205). Business ethics is a particular form of applied ethics (applied ethics referring to the moral analysis of concrete situations from social or professional practice in order to take some decisions), which refers to economic agents’, employees’, owners’ and managers’ behaviours (Popa si Radu, 1999, p.250). Business ethics is essential for the long-term success of the activity, general truth tested both from the macro-economical perspective (immoral Management & Marketing
behaviour can distort the market and lead to an insufficient allocation of the resources), and at a micro-economical level (at this level it is often associated with trust in relationships with providers, clients, employees and community), each organisation having responsibilities both in a social and in an economical sphere (Tigu, 2005, p.21). Social responsibility and ethical behaviour in business are strongly tied together with organisational culture. Organisation’s employees, as well as specific external public categories of the organisation are waiting are waiting empowered responsibilities from companies regarding their contribution to the general wellbeing of the society. In economic literature it is estimated there are the following concentric circles of responsibilities (Ionescu, 1997, p.173):
a) the internal circle, which includes basic responsibilities, regarding the efficient accomplishing of companies’ economic function ( delivering products, services, jobs and economic growth);
b) the intermediary circle, which sums up responsibilities regarding exercising the economic function, beginning with realising the change in social values and priorities (for example, the much more rigorous protection and informing of consumers, correct treatment for employees and consumers, assuring quality and safety of the product etc.); c) the...