Senny Boone Discusses What Marketers Can Do When Brands Face Ethical Dilemmas… 
6 mins read

Senny Boone Discusses What Marketers Can Do When Brands Face Ethical Dilemmas… 

Senny Boone, Senior Vice President of The Center for Ethical Marketing, believes that “Marketing suffers from a lack of trust in the marketplace, leading to heavy regulation and less growth for brands.”

With three decades of communications law experience spanning marketing, fundraising, and privacy issues, including innovative technology and consumer protection, Senny speaks with conviction and experience.

She heads the Center as part of the ANA’s self-regulation leadership efforts to help businesses build brand and consumer trust through best practices, guidelines, guidance, compliance services, and committees. She also seeks to educate, elevate, and advance accountability for the industry and mediate consumer complaints.

To learn more from Senny Boone about how brands can better navigate ethical dilemmas, watch the video interview on Internationalist Marketing TV (IMTV) on YouTube by CLICKING HERE.

The Center for Ethical Marketing provides a robust self-regulatory system that focuses on accountable, data-driven marketing and fundraising. It also helps members serve their audiences responsibly and protects against unreasonable government regulation.

According to Senny Boone, “Ethical marketing advances growth through good practices, while unethical activities offer no promise of expansion since they are only calculated to earn a quick return.” 


In 2023, the Center championed a new ANA Ethics Code that Senny describes as “establishing a high bar for responsible marketing business practices.” She adds that it is flexible enough to address ongoing challenges in technology, markets, consumer interests, and new business practices.

A draft edition of the ANA Marketing Code of Ethics is now available online, and The Center for Ethical Marketing welcomes feedback on the document by April 30

Described as a “living, evolving document,” The Code provides broad guidance on issue areas identified as timely and relevant that will continue to be reviewed to reflect changes in the legislative, regulatory, technological, and business landscape. 

Issues covered include:

  • Member Principles
  • Advertising Offers
  • Audiences (Children, Older adults, Disabled)
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Data Privacy, Security and Stewardship
  • Regulated Products (Tobacco, Alcohol… )
  • Digital Innovation (AI, Machine Learning, and Automated Processing

Listen to Senny Boone discuss how marketers can overcome a lack of trust in the marketplace, and to The Internationalist’s entire Trendsetters podcast series here on iHeartRadio’s Spreaker or wherever you download your podcasts.

In our conversation, we discuss the following:

  • You have an enormous role in your work to advance an accountable and ethical marketing ecosystem. Where do you begin?
  • Let’s talk about some specifics. I understand that last year the ANA Center for Ethical Marketing established a new ethics code, which sets a high bar for responsible marketing business practices. Tell us about that…
  • The Center for Ethical Marketing also serves as the compliance monitor and enforcer for the Digital Advertising Alliance. Would you outline what that means?
  • The DAA also reviews thousands of consumer inquiries each year. How do you review and process these… and most importantly, how do you enforce proper actions?
  • You also have a service, as part of the industry’s self-regulation, that offers consumers choices to opt out of unwanted marketing mail offers. Over 6 million consumers have signed up to reduce unwanted marketing offers over ten years via How does this help the industry?
  • The Center also helps guide appropriate actions when brands face ethical marketing dilemmas. Can you provide some examples?
  • You’re certainly an advocate for less regulation or self-regulation in marketing and advertising. What are the current areas that have attracted your attention regarding targets for regulation? I’m assuming one of them is AI…
  • How can individuals or organizations get involved to become better ethics advocates? 
  • Finally, in your mind, what is the biggest ethics issue or crisis in our industry now?

The Center also provides a Consumer Affairs function that helps thousands of consumers each year with marketing inquiries, complaints about marketing practices, or requests to reduce unwanted advertising. The Center for Ethical Marketing works with like-minded organizations, including the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), to monitor and address these issues.

Senny Boone’s goal is for The Center to be viewed not only as an ethics resource for members but also as a source for the public and regulators to understand how marketing elevates rather than detracts from the public marketplace.

She states, “We are always looking to achieve better member engagement in ethics, less regulation, and more consumer engagement with marketing.”

Xenia (Senny) Boone has over 25 years of communications law experience spanning a range of marketing, advertising and fundraising issues. She manages board-level committees on ethical guidelines, reviews and educates regarding members’ compliance with the guidelines, and reviews new best practices with marketing practitioners. Xenia leads educational efforts on corporate and social responsibility and data privacy, and works with members on marketing and fundraising compliance.

Since 2002, Ms. Boone has led the Nonprofit Federation (NF) of nearly 400 nonprofit organizations and fundraisers before Congress, state and federal regulatory bodies to ensure reasonable fundraising regulation. Since 2012, she has overseen the Data & Marketing Association’s Email Experience Council, an organization of responsible email marketing practitioners.

Ms. Boone has a Juris Doctor from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. and a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, cum laude, from Temple University in Philadelphia. Xenia is an adjunct professor on marketing ethics at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies. She resides in Maryland with her husband and daughter. Senny is a classically trained ballet dancer and serves on the board of Terra Firma Dance.