Proposed (Draft) SEM Code of Ethics

For more information about how a Code of Ethics fits in with Standards and Guidelines, see the previous post.


Search Marketing Code of Ethics

We, the search marketing professionals who are voluntarily adhering to the statements of principles set out below, do hereby believe in and commit to the following:


We shall strive towards truthfulness and integrity in our dealings with others.

We will accurately disclose relevant significant potential conflicts of interest to our clients.

We shall avoid deceptive marketing practices.

We will clearly, accurately and fully disclose realistic potential negative consequences of our actions to our clients in advance.


We are responsible to our clients. Clients should never be harmed by our actions, and are entitled to be dealt with in a fair and accountable manner.

We are responsible to the profession. We will not engage in actions that are likely to bring the profession into disrepute in the eyes of the public.

We are responsible to society. We shall obey all laws pertaining to our professional actions and efforts.

We are responsible to ourselves, to continually improve and update our skills and knowledge.


We shall treat others with professional courtesy and conduct.

We shall hold the private information of others in strictest confidence.


We shall treat clients fairly and in good faith, and are entitled to expect the same in return.

We shall use our best efforts to act on behalf of a client, while maintaining a professional demeanour towards other stakeholders.

We shall not encourage clients or the public to have unreasonable, unrealistic or unattainable expectations regarding the profession, the industry or the services offered.


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