Request for recommendations for marketing ethics resources

“Can you suggest some books on marketing or advertising or business ethics?”

That’s what my friend asked. I realized that I didn’t have many answers for her. I made four suggestions:

Small Town Rules – Becky and Barry identify 7 rules of small towns that can guide big brands. It’s not an ethics book, it’s an ethical book. A way of thinking in a principled way. (Kindle)

Ecclesiastes – If you had unlimited time and money to explore power, sex, learning, leisure and wealth, you might well still end up where this writer did: bored. So this book undermines many advertising appeals. (“Buy this and your life will be wonderful and your problems solved”).

Buyology – A study of what happens inside the brain when faced with advertising appeals. It’s not really an ethics book, but it is insightful.

Word of Mouth Marketing – another ethical book. Andy builds a philosophy of marketing around building a good reputation so that people will be willing to talk about your product or business or organization.

I quickly became frustrated as I was trying to help my friend who works for an advertising agency. I discovered that I think a lot about having a values structure which serves as the basis for actions, but I can’t quickly point to books that I can recommend to her. I don’t have time to write one. I’m too lazy to write her a series of emails that would teach.

I could have kept doing research, but I decided that I would ask you. Many of you are more well-read in this area than I am.

So here’s the question for the weekend: What books or resources would you recommend to a person in marketing who wants a clearer understanding of the ethical concepts and challenges and opportunities? 

She’ll watch. Thank you.

The links are affiliate links. (Okay, except for Ecclesiastes. But I’m affiliated there, too. Here’s my disclosure.

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