I wanted to explore the meaning of the word "ethics" nowadays and see how some companies manage to sneak through marketing tactics.
I've recently read articles praising companies that are considered the most ethical - there is a list of these illustrious and successful companies from 2013, 2014, and so on. - and they have been established as the reference for the rest of us. I've opened the list in anticipation of mentioning worthy companies, but I've been horrified to see a number of companies on the list that are known to create products that compromise health or who are involved in deforestation or child labor - just to mention a few crimes against humanity.
Even if a company takes steps to become more ethical, it should surely not be on such a list before having substantial experience of ethical practice. These questions immediately came to mind - "Who on earth compiles these lists and what is their schedule?" "Are they really ignorant of the practices of these companies or is profit the only criterion?" Or even worse - "Is ethical practice now judged by the 80/20 rule?"
So, what is considered an ethical enterprise in our time?
Does it mean the way a company treats its employees? If the people who work for them are well-treated and receive decent wages and benefits - does that make the society ethical?
If their employees wear protective clothing while they spray toxic chemicals on the planet, does that make the company ethical, because it takes care of its own?
If employees enjoy cheap food and clothing in the form of discounts, is the business ethical if the food is the end product of compromised ingredients and tortured animals?
If job opportunities and help the economy are seen as a valid reason for businesses to start business activities that poison the air we breathe, the water that we drink and the food we eat, I have to ask - who benefits?
Or maybe being considered ethical is it a brilliant marketing campaign? A campaign that makes the general public feel hot and confused - full of cute animals, young children or a celebrity or two - or perhaps all that is mentioned above if the company has of unlimited funding. We are presented with an emotional roller coaster ride that soothes the senses and convinces people of its sincerity and authenticity, because it is so beautiful!
For example, the food and beverage industries are slot machines that can employ the most ingenious and brilliant marketers, able to hide the misinformed by making them believe every word they say. Many of them produce addictive products that lack nutrition and create serious health problems by adding ingredients that destroy brain cells and usually attack the body's organs. This seems acceptable, however, as their marketing campaigns happily bring people together for food and beverages. Their packaging is so bright and colorful and the reassuring wording - natural, fresh from the farm - must be true, yes?
We remember that some of the trusty scammers and the most successful serial killers come in a very nice physical package. It's because they're beautiful that they can approach their victims, but being handsome on the outside does not necessarily mean handsome inside. " I think this rule also applies to businesses and their marketing campaigns.
We are surrounded by marketing images that promote "beauty"! These images not only corrupt and destroy people's self-confidence, but they also establish the precedence that beauty is the best. Therefore, in our subconscious, we associate beauty with all that is good and we reject everything that is not beautiful, in accordance with the standards in force in the marketing and media industry.
I have lived in the Algarve, Portugal, for a few years and I have met people who had orange trees on their land. These were the sweetest oranges I've ever tasted in my life, yet none of these oranges would have reached the supermarket shelves. The reason is that they were all "ugly" fruits - they were not altered to make them visually pleasing. The owner of the orange grove told me that the ugly fruits were the sweetest, and it's something that deserves to be remembered, because it opens our minds and we will not be so easily seduced by the beauty if we know that there is a viable alternative.
If a cosmetics company gives money to eradicate skin cancer, it must be ethical, is not it? People will think that they are wonderful and buy their products more easily. But what if the same company includes ingredients that can cause cancer in its products - does it not just create a market for itself? You have to think about it!
If a food or beverage company donates to schools in the form of computers, sports equipment, etc., is this really an altruistic act? They often receive returns in the form of on-the-spot advertising and large sales increases as their good deeds spread. Not to mention that they create a new generation of people who will be dependent on their products.
Charitable donations must also be a win / win situation. People who need help are not inferior to those who give it, simply because they have no money. They should not be exploited in the name of profit.
I think we need to remember that companies that donate a lot of money to charities are usually companies that can easily afford it. It does not hurt them at all, in fact, it is often good for them - they do not feel the effects. There are many companies that give money openly and sincerely and really help all the people they touch, and there are others who donate money for gain goodwill and increase sales. It's our job to know who is who.
So what percentage of donations and damages is ethical compared to current standards? Is it 25% / 75% or does it have to be 50% / 50%? Who makes these decisions and what is their agenda? It does not seem to be the health and well-being of the planet.
I suggest that before deciding that a business is ethical, we examine his face, his look and his soul. Remember that a beautiful face is not an indicator of a beautiful soul - the eyes are the windows of the soul and by looking at them deeply, you will be able to discern whether it's a good thing. is transparent or deceptive.
My father was a magician, a member of the inner circle of magic, and when I was growing up, I watched him practice. He always told me to look at the hand that seemed to be doing nothing - and that taught me a valuable lesson in life. So when any company or institution stages a spectacular display that catches my eye, I let my eyes go away from where the lights are shining and I look in the shade to see what they hide, what do not they want me to see? If, after careful examination and research, I discover that nothing is hidden, I feel that this society has a moral sense and I rest and enjoy the show!
I do not tell anyone what to think or what to do. What I humbly suggest is that everyone look carefully at the decisions they make and the companies they support by using their services or buying their products. Then each of us will know that we are not driven by the nose to compromise our own set of values and what we personally believe in.
The bottom line is that if the products or services of a company have a negative impact on people, animals and the planet, this business is not ethical - no matter how much their donations to charities or the number of heart-warming marketing campaigns they launch. They avoid their responsibility to all living beings in the name of profit. That's the truth!