Do you think Online Reputation Management is ethical?

4 replies
Hi guys,

I was pondering this the other day and would love your thoughts on this.

Online reputation management or "brand management" often involves masking or downplaying a companies negative feedback or negative brand image using a myriad of techniques or strategies.

However, if for example a company has been providing bad customer service or has an inferior or poor product or service that people are then rightfully complaining about, are you therefore doing something unethical by helping this business cover their bad rep and continue trading and potentially upsetting more customers....

How do those offering online reputation management justify what you are doing? or do you feel you dont need to? I know you are helping a business owner/company make more money, but if this is at the cost of them continuing to upset more customer then are you truly doing a good thing? or does that even matter?

I see the opposing argument being that every business will have some negative reviews, and by offering any sort of marketing services at all you are helping a business sell more, so is it really any different....

Would really be interested in hearing any warriors views on this.....
#ethical #management #online #reputation
  • Profile picture of the author Jonwebb
    Bad customer service is relative, I work at a movie theater a more often then not customers complain about things

    For example a manger here got suspended because of a bad review all because he was putting away stock in front of a customer. The customer felt it was unprofessional to do stock in front of customers

    Sometimes it is really bad other times its because people want u to go out off your way to kiss their butts. Its up to figure out if it goes against your moral code - in the end you can refuse service to those who you think doesn't deserve it

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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    For me, I dont consider driving negative info down to be unethical so long as you are not lying, like creating fake reviews.The info is still there waiting to be found.

    There are many reasons why negative info can show up, poor management, poor products/service, false negative reviews, etc. Maybe they deserve a fresh start.

    Now Personally I would not promote someone who I know is currently providing inferior services or even outright cheating people. I wont even say that Im morally superior to those that will, Im only saying that it wont feel right to me and I feel that business success is about promoting things that BENEFIT people rather than HARM them...even if that means losing short term revenue.
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  • Profile picture of the author bawls
    Its as ethical as back linking a site for SEO purpose.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Ethics is such a murky topic.

      Everything we do to promote ourselves online takes business away from someone else. All advertising causes someone to change their minds about where to buy something. Is that ethical?

      My thought is that everything you do that someone else doesn't going to be unethical to them.

      And if you help a business get better rankings and reviews, they will never think it's unethical.

      Better to ask "Is it illegal?"

      If you feel funny inside about something you are doing, just don't do it.

      Online, we are all competitors. Everything we do to help one online business, hurts another.

      As long as you aren't posting fake reviews, or lying...I wouldn't have a problem with it.
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