Unethical conduct by salespeople contributes to loss to the bottom line directly through misuse of expense reports and indirectly through lost customers who are disenchanted with questionable business practices. Self-regulation by industry has become an important strategy in improving the ethical environment of the industry as well as to establish standards that meet or exceed existing statutory or regulatory requirements. Audits of industry regulatory programs provide a mechanism to uncover weaknesses, heighten awareness of the importance of ethics and allow for improvements to be made and risks reduced. This study audits the Direct Selling Industry’s code of ethics as it complies with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (FSG) and establishes a benchmark against which subsequent ethics research in the Direct Selling Industry can be compared.
Keywords: Direct Selling, Ethics, Industry Audit, Personal Selling, Sales, Status Report