the ethical move

our pledge, revisited.

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Hello ethical movers!

We announced a change to our pledge earlier this year, and we think it’s important to highlight it here as well.

Before we do that, we want to honor the history of our intention pledge.

If you’ve been with us for awhile, you’ll know that we started out with the goal of creating a measurable certification-style standard. In 2021, we made the decision to pivot to our intention pledge.

Why? Because…

  1. We can’t empirically measure whether taking our pledge (or an expanded version of it) makes the difference we want it to.
  2. Making new rules to replace old ones is a patriarchal approach.
  3. Standards are a powerful tool for good – and they can be used to dominate, to manipulate, to deceive.

(Read: Alice’s original post about the intention pledge.)

The Ethical Move has always been about breaking the system.

We want to imagine better ways of doing things.

“There is no governing body to check or police us, we are inviting conversation if we are in breach. Owning our actions, aligning them with our words, and being open to learning from others is at the core of this new pledge.”

— Alice Karolina, A New Pledge For Ethical Marketing

Ethical marketing isn’t a checklist you tick off, giving you the right to call yourself an ethical marketer.

Ethical marketing is about how we sell. And it goes beyond that.

Ethical marketing is rooted in our desire to create a more just world. A more equitable world. A caring world. A joyful and pleasurable world.

With that said, here’s the pledge adjustment:

In the first section of the pledge, we’ve removed the words ‘not ours’ at the end.

We put the person before the sale.
We respect you and your privacy. We will help you make the best choice for your needs, not ours.

Originally, it was meant to convey really putting the person we’re interacting with above all else in the sales process. In time, we realized our needs matter just as much and we don’t need to explicitly exclude us from that shared experience to create the same effect.

Please let us know if you have any feedback or suggestions!

We always love hearing from you.

the ethical move news.

We’re excited to introduce our newest team members: MB and Brandee!

MB Huwe (pronounced “Huey,” to be precise) is a copywriter and licensed acupuncturist in the southern US. She’s especially interested in the overlaps of healing and communication, and is delighted to bring her eye for typos and cohesion to TEM’s content.

Brandee Nichols is a Podcast Manager, Editor, and Strategist based in Spain. Fueled by constant snacks and a never-ending podcast queue, she’s excited to join The Ethical Move team and help grow the community with podcast pitching.


In other news, ethical copywriter Lauren Van Mullem will be leading a TEMC workshop next week:

How to talk about your clients’ struggles without ‘punching the bruise.’

Wed, 19 April 2023, 6pm CEST / 12pm EST / 9am PST

The event is open to all!

Learn how to write copy that meets clients with empathy and care. The workshop will cover the importance of addressing pain points in a way that doesn’t manipulate or make customers feel worse, as well as how to lead with benefits without ignoring the pain. The workshop will be conversational and interactive, with opportunities to share experiences and ask questions. It’s designed for business owners and marketers, and doesn’t require technical copywriting skills.

The workshop costs $25 CAD + tax. (Free for TEMC members.)

get involved

our medium.

​Check out our latest post, “Creating effective, ethical Calls to Action (CTAs): The Definitive Guide,” written by TEM team member, Sabine Harnau.

Not only does it cover practical tips that you can implement in your copywriting, it also delves into ethical considerations when creating effective CTAs.

our medium

pledgee highlights.

I am making the ethical move because I want to build a business centred around connection, equity and integrity. I acknowledge there is a ton of ongoing decolonisation to to – both inside me, in my business practices and in what I give support to (or don’t). I’m here for this journey.
— Rionach Aiken, rionachaiken.com
I am making this pledge as I am autistic and find it really hard to know what to believe in a world full of slick marketers. I find unethical marketing to be explotative and ableist.
— Jenn Hume, hellyeahtech.com

Find more pledgee WHYs on our website:

Our pledgees

what we’re reading right now.

*We share resources to broaden our horizons, deepen our knowledge of our industry, and learn how to market ethically. The ethical move team does not agree with every opinion, nor do we claim to have found the best resources on the subject. What support or resources would you like to see from us? Send a reply and tell us!

more resources

what we’re working on.

We had a lovely time hosting the first of our Ethical Marketing event series last month. (Thank you to all who attended! We enjoyed meeting you!)

Here are the workshops that we’ve planned for the rest of 2023:

  • Manipulation and ethical marketing
  • Using data ethically in marketing
  • How marketing can take responsibility for humanity’s future

We’ll have more information in the coming months. Stay tuned!

Lastly, if you’re interested in joining The Ethical Move and have the capacity for volunteering – we’re still looking for help in the following roles:

Community host: hosting events and engaging our members in thought-provoking conversations – located in UTC-4 to UTC-8 time zones.

We are always here for the conversation.

If you have questions, suggestions, or an idea to share, reply to this email or reach out at hello@theethicalmove.org. If you come across a tactic that you wish someone would take a look at, please send an email to pledge@theethicalmove.org.

For more ethics in your life, join The Ethical Move Community, follow @theethicalmove on Instagram and Facebook – and check out our Medium Publication!

If you have a great topic to explore in an article, please send us your submission. We need all perspectives to make this work for all humans.​

As always, thank you for following our moves!
We are so glad you’re here with us.

Love, 
the ethical move.

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the ethical move