Multi channel inbound marketing

Honesty Wins: Ethics as a New Trend

Damjan Obal*

Only by realizing the wrongs are we able to make things right. At the moment,we live in a world where health, sustainability, and ecology are used mainly as buzz words for making huge profits. But it is time for a change in that behavior.Honesty should start within yourself. Be honest and satisfied with yourself. Don’t pay attention to the saying “The grass is always greener on the other side.” Never being satisfied with yourself is one of the biggest, most expansive, and dishonest tricks the corporate world can pull on us. We are constantly reminded that we are far from perfect, while at the same time (!) we are constantly offered an instant remedy, designed especially for us in the form of cosmetics or luxury items.

Of course, there is a clear manipulation going on through the media, producers,“corporates”, and designers. All of them are dishonest in favor of their own success. We live in a world of bad examples (good for the “corporates”). We are constantly exposed to perfect graphic and product designs that tell us that some products/services are so much better, healthier than others (even though this could be far from the truth). Today’s current idols look down at us from magazine covers,despising us, the “ordinary” folks. But are those idols even real? The images looking at us from covers are retouched in Photoshop, weight reduced, and certain parts enlarged. And what they are communicating is a simple message: “Don’t you want to be like me?” Of course the answer is yes, but is it even possible to look as good as a model retouched for two weeks by seven graphic designers?Is it even real? In any case, it is not ethical, nor is it even aesthetic. We should listen to the ancient Greeks, who knew that perfection only comes with a balance between body and mind.

Consumers usually fall for such traps as recycled packaging, or notes that tell us that we should contribute to a good cause. Of course, because the product is ecological or sustainable or because with the purchase you are supporting a good cause, the price is higher. Well, at least that is what they tell us. Yes, it works both ways in terms of who benefits. “Corporates” make a profit and you feel better be-cause, by simply purchasing a product, you did a good deed. Or at least that is what you are supposed to think. But we need to be asking ourselves if consuming more and living a life in abundance of things we don’t really need, is actually helping make the world a better place.

Campaigns promoting good causes are welcome, yes, even if it means consuming,but the organizations (“corporates”) should at least be honest about it. They should start looking at the problem as a whole. Changing to honesty does not mean a cut in profit. It could actually be a business opportunity yet to be exploited. People are slowly getting fed up with all the lies, they are losing trust in the corporate world and in organizations in general. Therefore,honesty could really prove itself as the future trend.And with honesty, ethical behavior follows. Design should not be an exception, the role of designers being the flag carriers of this new trend.


*Damjan Obal is the official C:F designer. He is a student of University of Lapland, Finland and University of Maribor,Slovenia.


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Sayanee Basu

Sayanee Basu | Action team | CF Chapters

Thought provoking Damjan! Manipulations got me thinking that the key to honesty is probably getting every company to ask themselves a simple question: WHY they are in business today. Once the WHY is answered, the HOW and WHAT will come by.

Talking about honesty and manipulations remind me of a great book by Simon Sinek - Start with WHY.

26th August, 2010 @ 3:20 PM CEST

Jatin Kataria

Jatin Kataria | Action team | CF Chapters

Wow Damjan.. What an article , its nice to know about Honesty, ethics and "corporate" from designer point of you.. its best to read as I am working in CORPORATE PLANNING department.

Being truthful and honest with ourselves, whether its "individual' or 'corporate'... It may that we live in world of bad examples, then lets share good examples of success and Lets create them ...

Being into "Corporate" now, I realize inside and outside of corporate..
segregation is always there in all media and corporates,,, One is to discuss internally and another is to share with media (media manipulate and show to the people)..


honesty wins...!!

27th August, 2010 @ 6:15 AM CEST

Damjan Obal

Damjan Obal

Hey with a bit of delay (yes, even I deserve holidays :) ) and thanks for the reply both of you. Why is indeed the most "painful" question, because it may lead to an answer the corporates don't want to hear - we actually don't need that service/product. But there's so much to do, so many areas that need the energy, so many challenges. And in the end there's also refund. Agree with you Jatin, let's make good examples, but as I'm a fairly critical person, I'll say that: Let's also expose fraughts, unethical cases that are misleading. Hiding behind fancy packaging is... well... not cool.

11th September, 2010 @ 2:44 PM CEST

Dharmesh Bhadja

Dharmesh Bhadja | Action team

this should be addressed as The shift in the perception... which is very essential. with pain i know that in my country the service has very strong basis of corruptions and unethical practices... and as the modern gen y has very unique ways to living and networking we can really work in this direction and get entirely fresh operating system to our next generation...

28th October, 2010 @ 7:56 PM CEST

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