Ethical Issues in Social Marketing

Lynne Eagle, Stephan Dahl, David Low

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Many social marketers assume that because they are focusing on positive behaviour change they may expect fewer ethical issues arising from their work than conventional, commercial marketing. However, such a view is sadly too simplistic. This chapter focuses on the ethical issues facing social marketing. It argues that social marketers face an even greater potential for ethical issues and gives examples of these by focusing on targeting, stigmatization, victim blaming, coercion, and the use of financial incentives, among others. Recognizing the manifold potential for ethical challenges, and the lack of a decisive manner in which to resolve them easily, it then discusses ethical frameworks which can aid social marketers in formulating a response to potential issues and arriving at a considered decision. The chapter concludes by discussing the potential role of a professional code of ethics, and how this can aid future ethical decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Marketing and Public Health
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Practice
EditorsJeff French
Place of PublicationOxford, UK
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780198717690
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


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