Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Marketing Themes in Ethics and Regulation

An article from Advertising Age, written by Kate Kaye, brings to light extremely relevant insights on advertising and digital regulation, with support from the Pew Research Center Internet Project study.

With the rise of the digital revolution comes growing concerns about privacy amongst consumers. According to the research mentioned in Kaye’s article: “91% of participants ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ that consumers have lost control over how their personal data is collected and used by corporations”.

I would further add that the burgeoning number of loosely regulated surveys and other forms of poorly administered data gathering — often in the name of marketing — raises an urgent need for regulatory frameworks that ensure quality, trust and security for internet goers and other online consumers.

This study, while reporting on a U.S. research project, would produce similar results if replicated in Australia. Our Masters students, within the University of Sydney Business School, should know of the work that the Association of Market and Social Research Organisations (www.amsro.com.au) does. Additionally, its Privacy Code is co-regulated by the Australian Privacy Commissioner.

I see consumer data privacy as one of the enduring issues facing marketing in this decade and beyond. The University of Sydney Master of Marketing program is one of the few in this country that has a specialised unit of study addressing this issue called ‘Regulatory Environment and Ethics.’ In addition, the Masters program is one of only two that are accredited by the Australian Marketing Institute (www.ami.org.au), which is also a strong advocate of best practice, particularly on this matter. The Discipline of Marketing holds Corporate Membership in the institute and, last month, was a sponsor of the AMI National Awards for Marketing Excellence.

Terry Beed
Hon Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Sydney Business School