Ethics and Advertising Sales Reps

The sales rep for a major architectural magazine called me today to see about getting business from one of my clients. In a candid conversation, we strategized what might be best for my client and how to present that to the firm. We also exchanged news and views about players in the industry; I suggested a firm that might be open to advertising, and he pointed me towards a company that might need marketing consulting support. All is well and good.

The rep then told me that my client's competitor had just made a major advertising purchase in the magazine.

At first, I was elated. This was valuable marketing insight into what a competitor had planned.

But then, I realized that the rep had just violated the confidence of one of his/her publisher's clients.  This makes me wonder -- can I trust the rep or the publisher with insider news about what my clients are planning?

The ethical slopes are steep and slippery. Beware.