Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 91, Issue 2, pp 223–236 | Cite as

Ethics Statements of Public Relations Firms: What Do They Say?



This study was designed to examine the prevalence of a code of ethics and to analyze its content among public relations agencies in the United States. Of the 1,562 public relations agencies reviewed, 605 (38.7%) provided an ethical statement. Among the ethical statements provided by these public relations agencies, ‹respect to clients,’ ‹service,’ ‹strategic,’ and ‹results’ were the values most frequently emphasized. On the other hand, ‹balance,’ ‹fairness,’ ‹honor,’ ‹social responsibility,’ and ‹independence’ were the least frequently mentioned in the ethical codes. Also, none of the sampled agencies included any sanctions regarding enforcement of their particular codes of ethics.


public relations ethics ethics codes public relations agency ethics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of AlabamaTuscaloosaU.S.A.
  2. 2.The University of FloridaGainesvilleU.S.A.

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