Business Ethics as an Ethical Self-Promotion? How Advertising Executives Promote their Activity

  • Léa Porée
Keywords: France, Advertising agency, Self-promotion, Commodification, Business ethics


In this paper, I suggest that we untangle the business ethics of a French advertising agency as a social critique of the advertising field. I attempt to analyse the display and promotion of values used in order to enhance the agency’s activity. Is the agency’s business ethics simply a form of commodification and a marketing strategy? Or is it an attempt to introduce morality into a business that is supposedly not moral? I also intend to highlight the way that employees understand and negotiate this entrepreneurial discourse. Ethics has multiple purposes: it is a communication tool that promotes the agency itself, and it serves as a guarantee for good advertising practice. The study of business ethics in the agency emphasizes how the firm reconciles its entrepreneurial logic with the moral values it claims.