The role of marketing ethics has been studied from two perspectives: The normative approach – which prescribes the ethical standards and offers guidelines with regard to marketing practice; and the Positive approach – describes and understands ethical practices through empirical work.
Ethical behaviour brings out following issues:
1. Who is responsible for ethical behaviour in the market? The answer is that both the marketers and the consumers are responsible.
2. What is the cost of unethical behaviour? The cost is enormous. For the marketer it may lead to negative attitude towards business. And for the consumers as a whole, they have to pay for the unethical behaviour of marketers and also some of the consumers’ anti- ethical behaviour.
3. Looking at the important role, now companies have started making statements in their Annual Reports about ethical behaviour.
4. Ethics are personal moral principles and values, laws are society’s values and standards that are enforceable in the courts. Thus there is a possibility that what is ethical may be illegal and what is not ethical may be legal.
5. Presently four possible reasons state the perceived ethical business conduct. First, there is an increased pressure on business people to make decisions in a society full of diversity. Second, there is a growing tendency of judging the business decisions publicly by groups with different values and interests. Third, public’s expectation about ethical conduct has increased. Finally, the ethical conduct has declined in every sphere of life, including business.