Social networks arouse suspicion among marketing directors of companies and consumers. Both agree that trademarks abuse of dishonest practices. So concludes a recent study conducted in the UK by the association of marketing professionals Chartered Institute of Marketing.

51% of the 1,150 marketing managers polled by Chartered Institute of Marketing claim to have witnessed unethical practices by brands on social networks. 52% of marketing directors coincide in pointing out that such practices endanger the effectiveness of the ‘Social Web’.

It is clear that brands are not entirely honest in social networks and their controversial practices seems to have affected many consumers. 44% of the 3,000 consumers surveyed by Chartered Institute of Marketing recognizes that they feel difficult to trust the brands appearing in social networks. And 47% of consumers admitted their tendency to reject brands that have manipulated the information.

What is more worrisome for consumers in the ‘social media’ are not the fraudulent practices of the brands but the overabundance of ads. 64% say they will stop using social networks if they end up flooding with advertising.

One of the techniques used by marketing managers of advertisers to attract consumers through social networks are the offers of free products. However, while two-thirds of marketers believe that this is an acceptable practice, only 48% of consumers viewed it as ethical.

Most obvious is the difference of opinion between consumers and marketing managers to judge another widespread technique in ‘social media’: to ask employees to share on social media content of the company for which they work. 70% of marketers say that this practice is lawful. The percentage decreases, however, to 28% for consumer (Source: Marketing Directo). Author and journalist Clemente Ferrer has led a distinguished career in Spain in the fields of advertising and public relations. He is currently President of the European Institute of Marketing.

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