This Week in PR Ethics (2/10/22): Privacy, Fashion, and Conflicts of Interest

From spouses and conflict of interest, to the latest fashion industry ethics fail, to some skeevy monetization of user data, there were quite a few interesting ethics articles this week.

  • Your Spouse and Conflict of Interest – Ginni and Clarence Thomas were in the news this week with many articles examining if there was an irreconcilable conflict of interest between her job and his job. She lobbies for many of the industries and causes that are decided by the Supreme Court. This is a great opening for discussion around conflicts of interest. Is disclosing enough? Is being aware of your biases enough?


  • Fashion, Cultural Appropriate and Stupidity – A colleague of mine shared this Vice article in a team meeting earlier this week. It highlights how one French brand was culturally insensitive (to say the least) and take a larger look at ethics in fashion.


  • Privacy, Crisis and Big Data – Mashable had an interesting article on how a Crisis Text Line looked to monetize user data on very sensitive subjects. There is a lot to examine here: from what right does anyone have to expect for privacy – even in the most harrowing circumstances, to where do you draw the line on how you use customer data?


Mark McClennan, APR, Fellow PRSA
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Mark W. McClennan, APR, Fellow PRSA, is the general manager of C+C's Boston office. C+C is a communications agency all about the good and purpose-driven brands. He has more than 20 years of tech and fintech agency experience, served as the 2016 National Chair of PRSA, drove the creation of the PRSA Ethics App and is the host of


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