The competiveness of the diverse sector of higher education sees universities increasingly reliant on marketing to position themselves within their main stakeholder groups. In doing so, the use of marketing techniques developed for the service industry are being adopted at strategic and tactical levels with little research to support such undifferentiated action. This paper discusses a number of issues joining marketing with the moral leadership of the university in a persistently competitive and commercial market place. We seek to offer practical actions to ensure that marketing remains a service to the institution and does not convert the mission of all institutions to one of consumerisation. We do this by discussing how a relationship model of engagement with stakeholders might be grounded in a virtue ethics imperative and how this might contribute to brand development and accountability.