Psychology :: Sex, beer and marketing ethics

The ethics and philosophy of marketing will come under the spotlight at a new public seminar being hosted at the University of Adelaide.

The seminar, “Sex, Beer and Marketing Ethics”, brings together three people with unique experience of marketing to address the subject from vastly different perspectives.

Claire Sherman from the University of Adelaide, Tim Cooper of Coopers Brewery and Steven Ogden from St Peter’s Cathedral will each speak on the topic, with a panel discussion following.

“Stereotypes associated with marketing have traditionally revolved around sex and beer more comfortably than philosophy and ethics. But the reality of modern business is that the best employees and the best customers are including ethics in their valuation of companies and brands,” says Michael Neale, Director of Marketing & Strategic Communications at the University of Adelaide and chair of the panel discussion.

“The problem for marketing people is that ethics, as a subject, is poorly understood. Marketing ethics is a complex subject that is requiring more and more consideration.”

Claire Sherman is an Associate Lecturer at the University of Adelaide’s School of Commerce. As well as teaching both Marketing Ethics and Marketing Communications at Master’s level, she wrote her Honours thesis on “nudity in advertising” in 2001. Claire has since published work on the effects of sexual orientation, congruence of the product and level of nudity on advertising outcomes and the consumer.

More recently she has been researching branded entertainment and the young adult market and has published several articles on product placement within the Australian television industry and on how to communicate with Australia’s young adults.

In teaching the first university course in Adelaide solely devoted to marketing ethics, Claire provides an ethical framework to enable students and future graduates to balance ethical issues within a marketing context, and in particular to make practical marketing decisions that include ethical considerations.

Tim Cooper is a fifth-generation brewer from Australia’s most successful family-owned brewery, Coopers Brewery. Tim began professional life as a doctor, with a medical degree from Adelaide, and practiced hospital medicine in the UK where he also completed a Doctor of Medicine at Bristol in 1990. He took time off medicine in 1986 to complete a Master of Science (Brewing) degree from Birmingham University, and joined the family company in 1990.

Originally Technical Manager, then Operations Manager in 1993, Dr Cooper became Director of Brewing in 1997. He obtained an MBA from the University of Adelaide in 1998. From 1999-2001 he was responsible for the development of the new Coopers Brewery at Regency Park, Adelaide, and became Managing Director of the company in 2002.

Steven Ogden is Dean of St Peter’s Cathedral, a position he has held since 2000. As Dean, he has instigated a number of creative partnerships with various organisations ranging from businesses to Anglicare and the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide. Currently, Dr Ogden is working on The Green Cathedral Project in conjunction with neighbouring organisations in North Adelaide, which he sees as an ethical response from the Cathedral to the problem of climate change. Dr Ogden is a personal mentor for a number of business leaders.

Dr Ogden has an academic background and has taught at Flinders University. His PhD was on the role experience plays in shaping belief. In particular, he argued that experience is ambiguous and that there are no black-and-white answers to complex moral and existential issues. Dr Ogden is interested in ethics, especially the way our core values influence our attitudes and behaviour.


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