Business ethics refers to the way firms behave with regard to conducting business. Business ethics involves following legal requirements for business, but, also involves considering issues which may be legal but not necessarily beneficial for society.
Business Ethics may involve.
- Treatment of workers, shareholders, stakeholders, suppliers etc
- Care not to mislead consumers and workers with misleading information and marketing campaigns
- Concern for the Environment. e.g. taking steps to avoid impact on environment – pollution and carbon footprints.
Business Ethics and Marketing
Firms have been accused of advertising products in a way that does not do justice and seeks to mislead consumers. Many businesses say they adhere to voluntary guidelines, such as not advertising alcohol targeted at young people. Another example is avoiding negative advertising which seeks to demean rivals products.
Promoting the importance of business ethics may in itself be a clever marketing ploy. For example, firms such as the Body Shop, try to market itself as a firm who consider the wider community and environment, rather than being a run of the mill profit making firm.