It is a choice to be ethical. This post isn’t going to preach about how you’re a bad person or that you need to have my same core values. This is about the importance of ethics and Meta advertising.
Oh, I know. I see the eye rolls through the screen. Meta has a terrible reputation on ethics. So, why should we do better?
Because sometimes, it’s not all about the fastest way to make a buck. Sometimes it’s about consistency and longevity. And if you take shortcuts and do things unethically, you’re prioritizing short-term gain while elevating long-term risk.
We could easily go down the rabbit hole here of what truly is “right” and “wrong.” That not all rules and laws are ethical. But, you know what? That misses the point.
Just make it part of your business (and life) philosophy to do what you believe is the right thing. Be ethical to a fault. Do not give anyone a reason to suspect that you’re doing something unethical. Make doing the right thing a habit.
It’s good for business.
Let me explain…
Know the Rules
As you surely know by now, Meta has rules. There are advertising guidelines that you are expected to follow.
Know these rules inside and out. Ignorance is not an excuse. Do all that you can to remain in line with those rules.
Some of the rules within these guidelines may not be obvious. Some truly have nothing to do with ethics at all. Make sure you understand them.
But you may forget. And when you do, it’s important that you always have the right intentions. If you have lines that you won’t cross — things that make you feel uncomfortable because they just feel “wrong” — you are much more likely to stay within the guidelines than someone who doesn’t have this same inner voice.
Don’t Bend the Rules
Some advertisers know the rules so that they can bend them. They know that if you venture into gray areas that may be unethical but aren’t technically against an official guideline, you’ll see benefits.
Yeah, you might see those benefits. Briefly, at least. It doesn’t take much to get your account flagged or inadvertently cross that line that you were walking so close to.
This approach has long-term risks.
If you routinely or briefly bend or break Meta’s rules, you are more likely than anyone else to get shut down. It could be your Facebook page, ad account, or Business Manager. This is how you end a business.
Try explaining to your client why you can’t run their ads. Or why their page no longer exists.
Oh, I know, there are sometimes very innocent people who get caught up in those things as well. But increase your odds by simply being ethical to a fault.
If you care about having a business one month, one year, and 10 years from now, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Prioritize longevity.
Know the line you will not cross, whether it’s written or not. Know that others will cross that line and benefit, at least for now.
But your business and reputation are too important to risk it.
It’s Relative and Personal
The joke running through this is that non-advertisers will often view all advertisers as unethical. Is merely running Facebook ads unethical? Some think so. What about targeting? What about the pixel and tracking events? What about affiliate marketing?
We all have to make some of these hard choices and figure out where the line is drawn.
Personally? I’m an unnatural marketer, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Marketing and sales often get a bad reputation because they can be so deceitful.
I’m not comfortable with misleading messaging and manipulation. I’d much rather not get the sale than talk you into something you’ll regret.
I realize there’s a strong counterargument that there’s an art to convincing sales copy that I’m not taking advantage of. And there are people I absolutely respect who will go farther for that sale than I will.
That’s a personal choice. Just know where you stand.
I recorded a video about this, too. Check it out below…
How do ethics apply to your marketing?
Let me know in the comments below!