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The ethics in advertising

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  1. Introduction
  2. Issues central to an unethical discussion
  3. Forms of untruthful advertising
  4. Benefits of advertising
  5. Harms of advertising
  6. Ethical principles relevant to advertising
    1. Truthfulness in advertising
    2. The dignity of the human person
    3. Social responsibility
  7. Recommendations
  8. 21st century advertising
  9. Advertising priniciples of American Advertising Federation
  10. Institutes protecting the consumers
  11. Current issues in adverstising
  12. Advertising controversial products
  13. Conclusion
  14. Annexure

The field of advertising is extremely broad and diverse. In general terms, of course, an advertisement is simply a public notice meant to convey information and invite patronage or some other response. As that suggests, advertising has two basic purposes: to inform and to persuade, and ? while these purposes are distinguishable ? both very often are simultaneously present. Advertising is not the same as marketing (the complex of commercial functions involved in transferring goods from producers and consumers) or public relations (the systematic effort to create a favorable public impression or? image' of some person, group, or entity). In many cases, though, it is a technique or instrument employed by one or both of these. Advertising can be very simple ? a local, event? Neighborhood,' phenomenon ? or it can be very complex, involving sophisticated research and multimedia campaigns that span the globe. It differs according to its intended audience, so that, for example, advertising aimed at children raises some technical and moral issues significantly different from those raised by advertising aimed at competent adults.

[...] ADVERTISING CONTROVERSIAL PRODUCTS TOBACCO: One of the most heated advertising issues in recent years has been proposed restrictions on advertising such product categories as tobacco. Cigarette advertising on television and radio has been banned since January Proponents of banning cigarette advertising argue that advertising tobacco products might result in sickness, in jury, or death for the user and possibly others. Restricting these ads would reduce the sales and subsequently would reduce the unhealthy effects. ALCOHOL: In November 1996, the Seagram Company lifted the self imposed ban by the industry and ran radio and TV ads for two of its whiskeys, Chivas Regal and Crown Royal Canadian. [...]


[...] TRUTH: Advertising shall reveal the truth, and shall reveal significant facts, the omission of which would mislead public SUBSTANTIATION: Advertising claims shall be substantiated by evidence in possession of advertiser and the advertising agency prior to making such claims COMPARISONS: Advertising shall refrain from making false, misleading, or unsubstantiated statements or claims about a competitor or his products or service BAIT ADVERTISING: Advertising shall not offer products or services for sale unless such offer constitutes a bonafide effort to sell the advertised products or services and is not a device to switch consumers to other goods or service, usually higher period GUARANTEES AND WARRANTIES: Advertising of guarantees and warranties shall be explicit, with sufficient information to apprise consumers of their principal terms and limitations or, when space or time restrictions preclude such disclosures, the advertisement shall clearly reveal where the full text of the guarantee or warranty can be examined before purchase PRICE CLAIMS: Advertising shall avoid price claims that are false or misleading, or savings claims that do not offer provable savings TESTIMONIALS: Advertising containing testimonials shall be limited to those of competent witnesses who are reflecting a real and honest opinion or experience TASTE AND DECENCY: Advertising shall be free of statements, illustrations, or implications that are offensive to good taste or public decency. [...]


[...] Advertising is allowed in print media with a limitation of size, in the form of outdoor advertising except in front of schools and in the cinema except movies suitable for all ages. Many of the tobacco advertising campaigns were targeted specifically towards women, especially by the sellers of Chesterfields and Marlboros. Far fewer women smoked than men, so the tobacco companies did their best to lure this untapped market to their respective brands. These advertisements usually attempted to convince females that smoking cigarettes gave them elegance and style. [...]

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