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Marketing Industry: A Resource Guide

Regulations and Ethics

Thomas J. O'Halloran and Warren K. Leffler, photographers. Federal Trade Commission Bldg. - exteriors of bldg. 1971 February 11. U.S. News & World Report magazine photograph collection. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission regulates false or misleading advertisements. However, with an increasingly global economy, regulations in other countries, or even the laws of specific states within the U.S., can impact national or multinational companies. The medium may also have its own set of regulations, such as telemarketing, television commercials, or social media marketing. Additionally, some heavily regulated industries have stricter marketing requirements, such as the financial industry, children's products, food and beverages, and tobacco. In order to improve target marketing efforts to reach specific customers, marketers and advertisers rely on consumer data, and some laws such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, have been put into place to protect consumers. Beyond what the law requires, many marketing associations have a code of ethics, and some companies have adopted their own standards of practice for ethical marketing.

Marketing Regulation

The following links are starting places for exploring marketing regulations. In addition to these resources, search for regulations, laws, or policies related to the product or service industry, or policies related to the platform or medium in which you are marketing.

Select Articles

These articles were selected either due to their classic nature on the topic, or their retrospective overviews in the form of literature reviews. To find specific articles on areas related to marketing regulations or marketing ethics, search databases or the internet using a combination of keywords. The following articles are linked to their location on their journal's homepage or other stable URL. At times, a subscription may be required to access the full text of the article. When available, a link is provided to the journal's Library of Congress catalog record and/or subscription where the article can be found.


A number of books have been published recently that examine ethics and regulations in marketing. The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.