Make Marketing Noble, Keep Social Honest

I’ve been banging on for ages about the importance of making marketing an honourable, noble profession. And I’m delighted that my friends at the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) have picked up this mission with their latest campaign entitled ‘Keep Social Honest’.

From research carried out in March and April this year by YouGov across over 3,000 UK consumers and 1,000 UK marketers, we now have the clearest picture yet of the ethical landscape that defines how much consumers trust marketing messages through social media channels.

Some of the stats are eye-opening:

  • 62% of consumers struggle to spot the difference between marketing and non-commercial messages on social networking sites
  • 66% of consumers think it’s ethically questionable for a brand to buy fans or likes on Facebook
  • 65% of consumers read reviews before buying products on sites like Amazon, TripAdvisor and Mumsnet
  • …yet only 46% say they now trust the information they see on Facebook, and only 54% trust what they read on business websites or blogs

Something big has to change.

Helpfully, the CIM team has defined 10 Rules that every organisation should embrace to help keep social honest:

Ten Rules to Keep Social Honest

I’d encourage every marketer to think carefully about this topic and read more at There are some great piece of advice on there that could help protect your business and career from potential ruin.

Our world is moving steadily towards an era of increased transparency, openness and open collaboration between buyers and sellers. The question we must all ask ourselves is “How will I feel when the time comes to “open the kimono” and show the world exactly what we’ve been up to behind closed doors?”

If the thought of having to publicly answer that question fills you with dread, now would be the perfect time to make some changes so you and your colleagues can look to the future with confidence.

Want more?:


Author’s note: I am a Course Director for the Chartered Institute of Marketing and am developing a special new training programme for CIM to help marketers like you better understand the risks and opportunities for their organisations.