Is Marketing Evil?

Recently a college student I know was talking to a minister. My college student acquaintance told the minister,”I'm going into the marketing business.”

The minister responded, “Oh, so you're going to sell people stuff they don't need for a living? And you're okay with that?”

My young college friend was stopped in her tracks. She promptly changed careers.

I wonder what would have happened if that minister had, instead of making a blanket judgment (um, what happened to “judge not, so that you will not be judged”?)… if instead of crushing a young person's dream… had said something like:

“Wow! That's great. You're going to earn your living by telling people how companies add value to their lives? I admire you for taking on such a challenging and rewarding profession.”

I wonder.

I'm not saying there isn't a lot of sleazy marketers out there – because we all know there are.

I am saying we need more people who will bring honor to our profession. What do you think?

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at