The Ethical Move

The Ethical Move

  • May 8, 2023

The Ethical Move believes in collectively changing the marketing industry to be transparent, responsible, and honest, with a pledge and badge that shows you’re collaboration and commitment.

The pledge follows:

  • We put the person before the sale. We respect you and your privacy. We will help you make the best choice for your needs.
  • We communicate inclusively, truthfully, and clearly.​ We will not confuse you or hide information from you. We will help all audiences feel welcome.
  • We take responsibility for our part in changing the marketplace.​ We recognize the need to break the cycle of consumerism. We will continuously review our sales and marketing to ensure they benefit the common good.

To commit to these principles and be held accountable, you can be part of the movement for ethical marketing: The Ethical Move.

This new pledge aligns with our existing code of ethics, largely informed by the Grant Professionals Association and American Evaluation Association. Ethical guidelines we have always adhered to include never implying, promising, or guaranteeing a client’s proposal will win and not providing services in exchange for contingency payments upon grant award.

The Ethical Move is a pledge that copywriters and marketing professionals can make to practice ethical copywriting – that which does not manipulate the consumer/reader. The pledge includes a code of ethics to live by and exemplify in your business practices, including empowering conscious consumers to make informed purchases through a clear copy that instills a positive, empowered, and hopeful mindset. To write with accessibility & inclusivity in mind and not assume the readers’ lived experience, sexuality, gender identity, race, income, or abilities, and avoid making generalizing statements; and to empower conscious consumers to make informed purchases through clear copy that instills a positive, empowered, and hopeful mindset.

A foundation of The Ethical Move is informing others about tactics unethical companies may use to manipulate consumers. Below are some of the most common tactics to watch out for.

  • Charm Pricing:  Charm prices use the left-digit effect to make a product appear cheaper than it is, bypassing the conscious choice of the buyer. They are only created to generate more sales and do not benefit the buyer in the least. Our prices are based on the actual cost of doing the work. We pledge to provide real pricing. (We do this already. Our flat-fee pricing is based on the number of hours it takes to complete a project.)

  • Countdowns: Countdown timers (tickers) create feelings of anxiety and a false sense of urgency: “You have to do it now… or you will lose out forever”. We pledge not to use countdown timers to drive a sale. (We are really clear about our own internal timelines that we set on projects and proposals. Our Founder & CEO despises countdown timers and thinks they are low-brow.)

  • False Scarcity: False scarcity is designed to make an opportunity, product, or service seem rare and, therefore, more valuable than it actually is. This plays on consumers’ fear of missing out and loss aversion rather than allowing them to buy out of genuine desire. We pledge to be honest about availability. (We are really clear about our own internal timelines that we set on projects and proposals and our own capacity to take on a project or not take on a project.)

  • Lead Magnets: Lead magnets (freebies, opt-ins) are used to collect email addresses for the purpose of marketing (list building). We do have an email list. We send out monthly notifications and will never sell your data. After all, it is your data, not ours. We pledge to be transparent in our email list building. (We do collect emails for our monthly newsletter. We are really clear that the purpose of collecting emails is not for spamming or other shady marketing tactics. We have also paused our monthly newsletter at the start of 2023 as we are in the process of overhauling the content and appearance – so if you are not getting them, that is why.)

  • Bait & Switch: Bait and switch occur when we are led to expect something of value, and what we get doesn’t match that expectation (a webinar turning into an unexpected sales pitch). We pledge to deliver the value we promise pitch-conscious. (Want to see fire shoot out of our eyes? This would be one of the top 10 things that enrage us. We are really clear about how you book with us, why you book with us, and when you book with us. This includes all email reminders you receive when you book with us as to the purpose of the meeting.)

  • Woke Washing: Woke washing is the appropriation of ethical and progressive values with the intent to leverage image and increase sales when behind closed doors, the actions and words don’t match the reality (when a brand donates to BLM while exploiting BIPOC in their supply chain). We pledge not to use social issues to leverage our marketing. (We can’t think of a time when this has happened at our firm. It is possible but highly unlikely. We are on top of this).

  • Secret Recipe: A ‘secret recipe’ is when someone claims they have an exclusive secret to success, or a shortcut, that no one else has. We pledge not to make false promises in our sales and marketing. (There is no secret recipe to what we do. We research, we follow directions, and we attend regular and ongoing professional development to improve our skills and approach processes. That is it. We do not and can not imply or promise any guarantee that your proposal or project will be funded. We will do everything we can to have the funder give you deep consideration, but that is it. We can’t make the funder fund you.)

The badge on our website represents our pledge to the ethical move in service of a new marketing standard based on transparency, trust, and honesty. Please connect with us if you see us not honoring our pledge.

Ready To Take the Next Step?

We assist our clients in locating, applying for, and evaluating the outcomes of non-dilutive grant funding. We believe non-dilutive funding is a crucial tool for mitigating investment risks, and we are dedicated to guiding our clients through the entire process—from identifying the most suitable opportunities to submitting and managing grant applications.