Promoting Professional Services
There has been a tradition against the use of promotion in marketing professional services. Professional codes of ethics have often prevented the effective use of promotion. The main arguments against the promotion of professional services are (1) that promoting professional services will demean the professions, (2) that promotion will adversely affect consumer confidence in the professions, and (3) that promotion may even threaten the quality of professional services. Recently, however, bans against promotion have been relaxed or abolished. What has happened as a result? The use of promotion is seen in medicine, optometry, accounting, law, and other professions. Research has indicated that the much feared debasement or consumer negativity against the professions has not occurred, nor has any substantial evidence surfaced that the quality of professional services has diminished. For many professional associations, the issue now is how to assist members to use promotion in an effective and responsible manner.