Throughout time, the ethics adapt to society and took various forms depends on current values and principles. Nowadays, brands do not seek to assume any principles or ethics. They just want to persuade and manipulate people, in order to buy their products or services.
We can talk about brand’s ethics on several levels. Thus, there is ethics regarding how brand’s image is created, ethics on brand’s personality or values, but also we can discuss ethics on how a brand is promoted. Usually, a brand does not look at ethics, being more focused on profits and selling, no matter what. An example could be the Body Shop brand, which is considered one of the first brands that it was constructed on ethical rules. It was found in 1976 by Anita Roddick. She refused to sell cosmetics products which were tested on animals. Also, she promoted an honest trade. After 30 years, this brand was sold to L’Oreal with £652 million and L’Oreal was one of the brands who used to tested on animals . This example, emphasize the incompatibility of ethics with profits. Therefore, most of the brands are driven by profits, no matter what.
Regarding how brands promote themselves, there are many technics and tools that are used in order to manipulate the publics. For instance, using vulnerable people (such as ill people, old age, poor people, teenager and so on), low standards, manipulation, sexuality, negative attraction, stereotypes, falsity, repeated exposure at ads and others . We can notice that brands started to put more weight on negative aspects of life, and sometimes they create problems where aren’t so they can come up with the best “solution”. And naturally people will buy those products, even though they don’t need them. Also, brands try to create new necessities so they can diversify their products.
Moreover, often ads aren’t true. For example, Mc Donald’s ads. As we can see from the picture, their products look different in reality than an advertisement. And this is one example. There are many other brands that deceive people and manipulate them to buy their products.
So here is the question: Is this ethical? What are the base principles that all brands should respect? Can we talk about ethic and morality within a brand?
From my point of view, the relativity theories in ethics allow people and, therefore, brands to choose what kind of morality and ethics they want to follow or not. There are so many perspectives about what ethics is that allow the companies to manipulate people and being careless about morality. Regardless if the brand is local, national or global it should conform, at least, to human rights. Also, there should be a set of principles for brand’s ethics, in order to clarify this problem and make it more ease to deal with.
I’ll end this article with an image that I think it shows, somehow, the reality.
 Carys Egan-Wyer, Sara Louise Muhr, Anna Pfeiffer, Peter Svensson. „The ethics of the brand” in Ephemera – Theory&Politics in Organization, Issue 4, p.3, 2014, accessed in 20.05.2015, available at www.ephemerajournal.org
 Dr. Pranee Chitakornkijsil. „Brand integrity, advertising and marketing ethics as well as social responsibility”, in International Journal of Organizational Innovation, Issue 4, nr.4, 2012, p.113-114