93 Ethics Issues for Thanksgiving Dinner Discussion in 2023

As Thanksgiving approaches, I wanted to take a minute and just say how thankful I am to the outstanding students in my Public Relations Ethics class (COM525) as Boston University.  We meet once a week for three hours.

We start every class by discussing ethical issues we have seen or read about over the past week.  At the start of the semester, I would be lucky if one or two students would share an example. Now, most of the class has their hands up and I need to stop the discussion after 30 minutes.

I firmly believe one of the best ways of relating ethics to management is by sharing stories of challenges and situations. That is what I do every week on EthicalVoices.

But there are other voices as well. Following are 93 ethics issues the students and I identified and discussed. These stories were ripped from the headlines. If you missed them, they are worth another review. They make great reading and great discussion for the dinner table. Most even have nothing to do with politics. And only a few deal with sports….


  1. A new code of ethics
  2. Actions Not Words Advocacy or Exploitation? The Ethical Concerns Around Posting Images of Poverty and Addiction
  1. Are managers and employees held equally accountable for ethics violations?
  2. Are some topics off limits for CSR and CSJ?
  3. Are the Boston Red Sox Greenwashing? 
  4. Are unethical and repressive entities entitled to PR counsel
  5. Banks Cutting Customers with Bad Reputations 
  6. Be aware of your biases
  7. Biden’s Student-Loan Forgiveness Program and Conflict of Interest
  8. Blue Check
  9. Boston Bruins forget the importance of virtue and character
  10. Business integrity does not exist in a silo
  11. Companies are responding appropriately to employee reports… …Unless you are Twitter
  12. Conflict of Interest and the Supreme Court 
  13. Conflicts of interest
  14. Cultural appropriation
  15. Decisions have consequences 
  16. Deepfakes in war 
  17. Disclosure and Transparency from the media side
  18. Disclosure? Honesty? 
  19. Do ethics matter to employees?
  20. Do you need an ethics advisor
  21. Do you want to start an ethics discussion?
  22. Don’t steal
  23. Ethical beauty needs to also look at the environment
  24. Ethically, where can you do business?  
  25. Ethics in the Coffee industry
  26. Fairness in Artificial Intelligence
  27. Fairness in Competition 
  28. Fashion, Cultural Appropriate and Stupidity 
  29. Front groups and disclosure 
  30. Get woke go broke?
  31. Go old school
  32. Great ethics videos from PRCA
  33. Healthcare, Russia and Ethics 
  34. How are businesses dealing with Russia and Ukraine today?
  35. How companies can address their historical transgressions
  36. How often do we lie?
  37. How to avoid joining the disinformation ecosystem
  38. How to be an ethical leader
  39. Is It Ethical for Employers to Monitor Your Social Media?
  40. Is it ethical to speak after you are dead?
  41. Is it ever ethical to represent a country with poor human rights records?
  42. Is it ever right to sabotage your company?
  43. Is restricting ideas the answer?
  44. Is reverse catfishing ethical
  45. Kyrie Irving and Fairness
  46. Lack of disclosure
  47. Lack of Disclosure costs Kim Kardashian $1.2 million
  48. Leading in an Age of Employee Activism  
  49. Let’s discuss propaganda and democracy
  50. Misinformation is an international threat
  51. Misinformation online
  52. Money, Sports, and Ethics in Australia
  53. Navigating the Ethical Risks of Doing business in China 
  54. No Changemakers when it comes to DEI
  55. Page Center Launches Scholar Directory
  56. Pay Transparency
  57. Power of fake videos
  58. PRCA calls out disguised earned media
  59. Privacy, Crisis and Big Data 
  60. Racism in the NFL 
  61. Repressive countries and disclosure
  62. Rich Shertenlieb, 98.5 Sports Hub: Virtue-Based Ethics in Action
  63. Speaking of misinformation
  64. The Ethics of AI Generated Art
  65. The ethics of Favela tours
  66. The ethics of fur trapping
  67. The ethics of Spotify
  68. The ethics of virus research and reporting
  69. The metaverse 
  70. The pope speaks on digital media and ethics
  71. TikTok as a growing source of political misinformation
  72. TikTok Search has a misinformation problem
  73. Too many people still do not have Aristotle’s Virtue of Courage.
  74. Transparency
  75. Twitter layoffs
  76. Unethical or stupid
  77. Unfair advantages and disclosure
  78. Virtue matters 
  79. Walking the walk on climate change
  80. WE Study finds brands must get more practical in addressing society’s problems
  81. What ethical failures are customers least likely to accept
  82. What happens when an industry doesn’t have a code of ethics?
  83. What is Ethical Lobbying? 
  84. When is talking about ethics advertising?
  85. Which countries do best when it comes to modeling behavior to stop sexual harassment?
  86. Whistleblowers
  87. Who controls a company’s purpose?
  88. Who is liable when AI kills
  89. Who is responsible for countering misinformation?
  90. Your Spouse and Conflict of Interest 
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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