Marketing of pharmaceutical products is growing and is an increasingly important part of marketing communications. Apart from that, financial services advertising is not constrained by any other limitations, unlike, for example, marketing communication of alcohol or tobacco products. Here, the two most pressing ethical questions related to digital communication are highlighted: where and how user data are collected, stored and used; and the use of artificial intelligence in marketing communications. Artificial intelligence is used in marketing communications as virtual agents, social bots, language-generation software, computer-generated images or computer-generated social influencers. Some groups of consumers require special protection from the influence of marketing communications; for example, children are often cognitively not developed enough to recognise the persuasive nature of creative communication and therefore are protected by stricter legal regulations than adults.