I majored in commercial photography in college. I now work as a freelance assistant for commercial photographers in Chicago. Anyone who wants to tell me that commercial photography is inherently less difficult, less creative, or in some way inferior to "fine art" photography can lay lips on my posterior.
There isn't anything wrong with commercial photography. In ways, I see it as a greater challenge to make good commercial photographs than most any other kind of photograph. How so? You're trying to make a beautiful, artful image, just like in fine art photography. However, you're also trying to make an intelligent, communicative image that accomplishes a specific goal. Yeah, there's a lot of cheap, soulless commercial photography out there. But for every crappy commercial photographer with only a minimal amount of care about quality, there are ten Ansel Adams zealots churning out boring, uncreative b&w prints in the name of fine art.
To make a qualitative distinction between commercial photography and fine art photography is to make with copious eletist quasi-intellectual masturbation. Fine art photography and commercial photography are on equal ground. One is not better or worse, more or less ethical than the other due to any arrangement or lack of exchange of monetary funds. They have equal potential to be gorgeous and masterfully produced and equal potential to be undeniably worthless piles of crap.
I pursue photography as photography. I make no distinction between my personal work and paid commercial work. I aim to produce fine images with insight in both endeavors. I refuse to accept any blanket statement of superiority or inferiority in the relationship between the commercial and non-commercial disciplines in photography.