Essay on Advertising vs. Ethics

1427 Words 6 Pages
Can advertisements, one of the most visibly and financially impactful aspects of the public’s daily life, ever truly be ethical? Advertising cannot fully withstand morally because it is deceptively based with misleading tactics, is harmful to children, and is a possible reversal of movements toward a more “green” environment. The definition of false advertising, along with the deceptions used to implement it, supplement the basis of this theory. Statistics regarding the nation’s youths and concerns for the environment are further influences in the argument of right versus wrong and good versus bad in relation to advertising and ethics. Supporters of advertising may beg to differ, but completely ethical advertisements are unattainable. …show more content…
This “modified” gullible-consumer standard “protects consumers from ads that mislead significant numbers of people, whether those people acted reasonably or not” (Shaw and Barry). Nevertheless, consumers are still deceived, whether legally or illegally but unenforceable, by advertisers each and everyday. The daily deceptions achieved by advertisers are executed with certain, misleading tricks. An advertiser’s only objective is to persuade consumers to buy certain goods and services, leading to a tendency to misrepresent and/or even lie. One deception that the Federal Trade Commission charges against is ambiguous advertisements, which are purposefully presented in a way that can be understood in two or more ways. For example, when Sara Lee promoted its Classic Light desserts, customers inferred this to mean lower calories treats. After investigation, however, it was released that the term “light” referred to the texture of the desserts and not their calorie count. A second trickery involves the concealment of facts, so as to contain unbecoming information about goods and services from potential consumers. Such misleading ads, including Campbell’s Soup Company putting clear marbles in their vegetable soup to distort the appearance of solidity in a television commercial, bend the truth and, overall, exploit customers. A third moral complaint about advertising is exaggeration, or making

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