Ask a Professor


Who is in charge of drawing the line when consumer profiling gets out of hand? The business entity itself? The government? Consumers?

Companies have gone to extreme lengths such as profiling young children in order to teach them how to more efficiently nag their parents for things they want. Businesses are now even attempting to examine peoples personal lifestyles so they can brainwash and convince you to buy all of their products. When does the act of marketing a product, cross over to invading personal privacy? How and when does the line get crossed and when does it get drawn? Can consumers even make that decision when more often than not they do not realize to what extent they are being targeted or manipulated to spend money they potentially don't have? After all we are a fabric of our society.

This is perfectly legal to my knowledge. Parents must curtail this trend. From my own experience as a father it is very difficult.

What are the proper business ethics that all companies decision makers should go by in order to maintain a trust factor in their consumers?

That is the issue. It is hard to argue ethics in a culture that has competing stories. Again business will do what they can get away with.

One thing I would like to learn more about or explore rather is ethics in marketing. I would like to explore the line between ethical storytelling and storytelling that is disruptive and unethical and whether it is really possible to be truly ethical in marketing.

It is very difficult. Especially if marketing focuses on factual but not truthful marketing. It then becomes a misinterpretation by the customer.