I asked a question on Twitter about ethics in design, and the stance designers take when it comes to working with clients. Miles Newlyn, for example, mentioned that he won't work with zoos or companies involved in warfare. Here are some responses from Twitter.
"I stay away from anything I don't fully understand (and can't see if they're beneficial). Financial products are a good example."
— Richard Baird
"Cigarette branding for obvious ethical implications."
— Ben Powell
"Extremist religious/movement groups, family."
— Phil Stringfellow
"Gambling. Their business model should not be dependant on the illness of addiction."
"Online gambling and classified sites/businesses that include an adult services section (i.e. Village Voice Media)."
— Amara Poolswasdi
"Tobacco and religious organisations."
— Mark Bradford
"Oil/petrochemical, tobacco, companies with shady practices such as Monsanto."
— Abbas Arezoo
"Anything even remotely to do with the adult entertainment industry."
— Tim Phelan
"Tobacco and gambling are the two I would never touch."
— Guy Moorhouse
"Any type of business taking advantage of slave labour in third world countries."
— Lejla Kuric
"Our ethical policy excludes companies with poor human rights/exploitation or environmental records. Nestle, BP, etc."
— Dave McCourt
"If you work in the quasi-public sector (as I do) the only business' you can refuse to work with are those operating illegally or those which can probably 'bring [your] institution into disrepute'."
— Gabriel M. Clarke
"I've just refused to do pics for an abbatoir training resource *vegetarian shudder* for obvious reasons."
— Leanne J
— Josephine Jost
That last comment reminded me of one company I won’t work with.
Has your ethical stance ever ruled out (or won you) a client?