Principled Profit: The Good Business Blog

Musings on the world-wide movement for ethical business, frugal marketing, and how honesty, integrity, and quality combine with deep relationship building to create business success. By the originator of the Ethical Business Pledge campaign and award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First and five other books

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spitzer Caught in Prostitution Scandal

The danger in being an ethics warrior is that if you get caught with your own pants down, you’re in trouble. You’ve lost all the credibility you spent all those years building up.

It happened to John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods last year. This week it happened to the crusading anti-corruption New York State Governor Elliot Spitzer, who apparently uses a high-end call girl service similar to those he investigated as Attorney General.

It’s really a shame. There’s been much to admire in the public positions of both men. But if you make your living touting honesty, you should, quite frankly, know better. I’m not trying to sound self-righteous here, really I’m not–but from a marketing point of view, if you stake out your reputation on being the best and then get caught dealing in lousy product, you’re going to fall a lot harder than if no one expected any better from you in the first place.


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