Guidelines on good practise for ethical handling


Laura Palmer, Business Development Director of PHL (Promotional Handling) shares her guidelines on good practise for ethical handling in Brands and Charities and how to maintain consumer trust.

Ethical handling of a promotion or charitable cause is important for both social and environmental responsibility. Now more than ever, with data privacy and environmental issues such as plastic waste being at the forefront of the public’s mind, consumers are looking to Brands and Charities to have strong, positive ethics, be responsible and promote best practice when engaging with them and running promotional activity/campaigns.

I believe that it is the responsibility of agencies and service providers to ensure they keep the above in mind when planning, implementing and handling campaigns. By doing so, this ensures a positive consumer experience and continued support for the cause or Brand.

In my opinion, there are a few guidelines to follow to promote good practice for ethical handling, such as:

Data Management

This month we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the worldwide web, and with its existence we have been able to access a plethora of information and data at the click of a button. Over the years this has given Brands and Charities many benefits, such as reaching a wider audience and new ways to engage with them. Whilst there are many positives of this, there has always been a concern about our data: who is receiving it, how are they using it and what does it mean to me?

Therefore, it is important to ensure that when running a campaign, you are clear and articulate about what happens to consumer’s data, that it is being handled correctly, securely and in line with the GDPR policies. Giving the consumers a clear choice to opt in and ensuring that they understand what information they will be receiving, how often they will be receiving it, and via what method, are fantastic ways to build/maintain consumers trust and support.


You need to be very clear with consumers on what they need to do to enter a promotion or campaign, engage with an organisation or redeem a prize/reward. Having a strong, clear message and terms, advising on information such as when a consumer will receive communication, gift or reward, will help to avoid negativity around the campaign. For a charity, it is also important to ensure that the public feel informed and connected, if you are sending a gift or update, ensure you advise when they can expect it and how often.

Packaging & Materials

With the social responsibility taken care of, the next step is the environmental responsibility ensuring that you not only think about the Brand/Charities ethics but also what the consumer wants to receive and how they want to interact with the campaign. For example use innovative ways to minimise the packaging required to still deliver a positive consumer experience. Make the choice to use environmentally friendly, recycled packaging and avoid the use of plastics where possible.