Marketing doesn’t have to be unethical

Did you know that 81% of millennials are more likely to spend their money on brands that are practicing ethical marketing? Recently, I’ve noticed that brand authenticity is at the forefront of importance to consumers and if brands aren’t doing their part to contribute to this movement, then millennials will find another brand that is (and I love this).

It seems as though marketers have developed a bad reputation for contributing to unethical practices. In one of my classes here at St. Lawrence College, this conversation came up in a debate as a result of being tasked with listening to a podcast by Sam Harris on persuasion and control.

It was so refreshing to hear that most of my classmates believe that it doesn’t have to be this way, and we can be the ones to change that. Marketing doesn’t have to be unethical. There are brands out there that are not participating in this trend.


Recently, I started working for Marshalls, a branch of the TJX Canada family. Soon after, I started following their social profiles and observing how they market themselves. To my delight, they are focusing on supporting their brand values through marketing efforts. Their values include diversity, mutual respect and caring, giving back, and customer satisfaction (among a few others).

TJX CanadaENG-12feb2016v2_Page_2

Now, I know many brands have similar values and soon after working for a company you might realize that they don’t actually support what they say they value. For Marshalls, this has not been the case. Every day I go to work I can see that they do their very best to uphold and showcase these values.

I guess my point here is that these brands do exist, and you don’t have to settle for working for a company who doesn’t have values that align with yours. And if you are, can you challenge that brand to re-evaluate? I could see a future with the TJX family and could be very happy being part of that team.

There are many other brands who are doing their best to participate in ethical marketing. I’ve noticed a shift in the last few years, and things are starting to look up! Young people are speaking out and demanding that big brands do more to support their values. I really do see a future where things can be different, we just have to remember that we can be the ones to make a difference.

I think it starts by researching your favorite brands, are they doing their part? Are they practicing ethical marketing? Can you encourage them to do so? If the answer is no, maybe it’s time to find a new brand that is. After all, I really do think this is the future and we might as well get on board now!


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One comment

  1. Siobhan · March 10, 2018

    Loved your post, and I completely agree. Marketing can be done ethically and with integrity.

    I’m glad to see brands and consumers more focused on ethics and hope this is a trend that will continue to shift the way we do business.


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