I'm considering sending today's refreshing, right-on post by Seth Godin on "Marketing Morality" to the spammer who encouraged me and countless others to "set rigorous standards" for ourselves by paying for phony degrees through his/her bogus company — ha! (If you don't know what I'm talking about, see my recent post about this).
Marketers, like everyone, are always responsible for their choices — even when they choose to ignore the consequences and blame others for believing what they say. Personal responsibility works both ways. The argument that people should know better — "Buyer beware!" — does not erase the unethical choices that people who market cigarettes to all, liquor to under-agers, and SUVs on an environmentally fragile planet make.
No one has to play the deception game. There are creative ways to market honestly, and many do. (Having worked in marketing for more than a decade, I know this to be true first-hand.) But as with all things done well, it often takes more thought and more time. There are always obstacles to blazing a new trail. But if it's a carefully planned path, respectful of and enhancing its surrounding environment, with breath-taking views and meticulous markers, isn't it worth the extra effort to create this greatness? And to share it with others, enriching their experience also?
We are all campers in everything we do. The advice to "leave your campsite in better shape than you find it" needs to be creatively and globally mass-marketed now more than ever.