Dear Mr. Ethics,
One of our competitors recently let go its regional president of the West Coast construction office. The reason for the change is reported to be because the president and the company board of directors did not see eye to eye on future development. My boss thinks this is a good opportunity for us to tell potential clients that the president was let go because the company is in financial trouble and its long term viability of the company is not good. My boss thinks that is the real reason for the president’s firing. I am not comfortable doing this because I do not think it’s true. What should I do?
Very truly yours,
I believe that you are awarded project contracts based upon your bid and reputation. I think it is important to let a potential client know why you are better than your competitors. I have never thought that spreading innuendo or exaggerating a competitor’s situation shows why you are better than them. More importantly it is not ethical. Making exaggerated or misleading statements about someone else will always bite you in the end. This begs the question if passing along bad but true information about a competitor is ethical. I do not think it is. In my opinion it is the client’s obligation to find out about its potential contractor. That is the reason interviews are conducted. Be assured that a major change in a company’s leadership will be known by potential clients.