The term ‘ethical PPC’ has been doing the rounds for many months. Ethics in digital marketing is a vital discussion many marketers are not having. We discuss what ethical PPC really is.

In advertising as well, there is a need to establish trust.

Nobody likes ads. Part of the reason is that there is no excitement about ads is that the motive of the whole premise is already clear. Any person watching an ad knows that something or the other is being sold.

This makes it a challenge for ad execs to come up with ads that capture the interest of the audience. Every once in a while, there comes along a very effective ad which is a great hit for the company and its revenues.

The problem is that marketers can sometimes get carried away while creating an exciting ad copy. They add promises and benefits which the product or service being promoted cannot deliver on. Sometimes the false promises are made deliberately to bait the audience into buying, and other times they are based on false expectations.

This becomes a problem in PPC marketing more so than other fields. In PPC marketing, advertisers don’t have a lot of time to make people excited about something. This leads to the point where advertisers decide to add certain guarantees to the ad copy which the company cannot deliver on. Case in point, if you add 50% off in your PPC ad but the company cannot offer such a large discount, you are essentially practicing unethical PPC.

Ethical PPC

There are already many terms used in digital marketing for trivial things, but ethical PPC is not one of them. It is a practice which aims to bring transparency and accuracy in PPC marketing. In SEO, we have EAT guidelines which stand for expertise, authority, and trust.

An EAT acronym for PPC would stand for expertise, authenticity, and transparency.

i) Expertise- Expertise in PPC would mean portraying to the audience that the brand belongs to a field it understands and thus offers products and services which really solve a problem for consumers. Nike portrays expertise in selling shoes by making atheles promote its brand. Think about how your brand can portray expertise in a simple PPC ad. It could be something as simple as positive customer feedback, the people you have working on products & services at your company, or even some kind of award or recognition your company has received.

ii) Authenticity – Being authentic is more about language than substance. Don’t create an ad copy that is overly promotional. Balance the emotions of the ad to make the audience feel that you’re simply addressing a problem they have and a solution you have for the same.

iii) Transparency – Your audience is not dumb. It understands your motives for taking out an ad clearly. Thus, you don’t need to sound overly protective about your role as an advertiser. Hit upon the audience by making your goal clear. Bring up features and factors that make your product better and accept your shortcomings. For example, if you’re promoting a phone worth Rs. 5000/-, you cannot claim it is as good in functionality as an iPhone. However, by saying your product is worth every penny paid by a customer makes more sense and attracts more people.

In Conclusion

A term like ethics is rarely discussed in marketing, let alone digital marketing. However, it remains an important topic marketers should be talking about. To build genuine trust with the audience, marketers have to be transparent and forthcoming in their approach. This requires following a core philosophy guided by ethics. In this article, we discuss the basics of ethical PPC.

About the Author – Rohan Jose is a PPC marketing professional with experience stretching back ten years. He currently works as a marketing coach at The institute is a well-known place for providing a certified digital marketing institute in Delhi.