Code of Ethics

The article / info below has been released  under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, by Ken Harthun. I think it’s worth reading.. and on point:

It has come to my attention and the attention of many of my Internet Marketing colleagues that a huge percentage of people in our community are operating in an unethical, often illegal, manner. In our own spheres of influence, those of us who still believe in “white hat” (ethical, honest) practices are taking to task those we know who are leaning to the “dark side” (dishonest, deceptive, unethical practices).

Naturally, we white hat marketers are being resisted and even upbraided by those on the dark side who continue to pander to the but-it-makes-me-more money-this-way mentality who are more interested in short-term profits than business longevity.

Some of us are fighting mad about it. But, let’s take a benevolent position for a moment and assume that part of the problem is that an “Internet Marketer’s Code of Ethics” has not been published. We’ll give the dark side the benefit of the doubt and ask them to adhere to a code. Then, if they don’t, they will have shown us all who they are and we’ll have a document to point to; we’ll be able to say, “Mr. XYZ marketer has violated these points of the ‘Internet Marketer’s Code of Ethics’.”

General Conduct

  1. I will not knowingly misrepresent myself or the products I am promoting.
  2. I will not knowingly deceive my customers.
  3. I will, at all times, treat my customers, my clients and my peers with due respect as they have earned and deserve.
  4. I will comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
  5. I will honor all guarantees and issue prompt refunds according to the terms I have stated without question.
  6. I will support and promote this Internet Marketer’s Code of Ethics.


  1. I will refrain from using deceptive and/or misleading headlines, email subject lines and testimonials.
  2. Headlines, subject lines and testimonials will be relevant to the product I am promoting and relevant to the content of my promotional materials.
  3. I will avoid high-pressure and/or manipulative sales tactics.
  4. I will deliver everything I promise in my sales materials.


  1. I will inform my prospects and customers of the frequency of communication they can expect of me.
  2. I will adhere to those expectations.
  3. I will treat all communications to my customers and prospects as if I am communicating with them in person.


  1. I will never deprive someone of an affiliate commission they deserve or have earned.
  2. I will abide by the license restrictions for all resale products I acquire.
  3. I will not engage in excessive, irritating or deceptive entrance/exit popups.
  4. I will address all customer service/support requests in a timely manner.

This code will no doubt be questioned and it will, as a result of the normal course of human emotion and reaction, evolve. But, we have here a starting point from which to proceed.

If you are in agreement with this code, tell every marketer you know about it and get them on board. It’s our business to take care of our business. Post your comments and suggestions and feel free to contact me directly. It’s time to take a stand.

This was originally posted at by  Ken Harthun, who shared the link with us via a private skype channel/mastermind group.


It’s interesting to see how ideas are coming to the forefront, and the need for integrity and ethics in what we’re all doing is more and more important.

Again the intention is clear, and in line with the aspects we’ve set out repeatedly during our meetings, what is interesting is the subjective nature of some of these rules which will need to be reviewed over time.


You may have experienced a “Launch”, if so, what was your experience of it?

A Launch is for the sake of this conversation, the systematic and strategic roll out, of a marketing funnel and process online, with coordinated dates for the original access to the marketing information, and with strategic processes used to encourage interest, and purchase.

They have become synonymous with “product launches”, in the areas of web marketing, where a program for $1997 is launched with a suit of high powered tier 1 and 2 JV partners and with a team of launch managers, copy optimisation, JV brokers and more participating.

The interest in launches has been heightened  by the fact that it became increasingly easy to produce 6 and 7 figure pay days.

In how many businesses are $1m+ transactions occur, with relative certainty?

The challenge is that, what was new and exciting, has become market standard.

The need for new launches to fuel this from the launcher’s perspective, has resulted in more and more “hype” and “false scarcity”. At worse this results in large refunds, cancellation policies, and damaged brands.

There are psychological factors that support the use of launches from the marketers perspective:

  • Social Proof – When you see all your “friends” talking about something it makes it credible (in perception”)
  • Fear of Loss – When everyone else is taking advantage and you are not, then the fear of loss is engaged, and this very primal human emotion is one of the core values that is very difficult to overcome.

In banking and business, this can often be seen as arbitrage vs business building.

Launches when successful, grow a larger customer base, and are used to launch a new product, service, brand into the market place, which plans for longevity.