Ethics in Ad­ver­tis­ing

Consumer Voice - - Feature -

a) Ad­vo­cacy: It refers to what an advertisement is try­ing to say and whether this is ob­jec­tive or neu­tral. b) Ac­cu­racy: It refers to whether the claim made by the com­pany is true and ver­i­fi­able. c) Ac­quis­i­tive­ness: It refers to whether the advertisement is pro­mot­ing ma­te­ri­al­ism. In ad­ver­tis­ing eth­i­cal is­sues are broadly di­vided into two cat­e­gories, ie, eth­i­cal dilemma and eth­i­cal lapse. The first is eth­i­cal dilemma that arises when the pros and cons re­gard­ing a par­tic­u­lar is­sue are even, where ethics are con­cerned – for ex­am­ple, the use of ad­ver­to­ri­als to pro­mote a com­pany’s prod­ucts or ser­vices. The ad­ver­to­rial at­tracts read­ers’ at­ten­tion and the ad copy has a big­ger im­pact on the minds of the reader than an or­di­nary advertisement. The ap­pear­ance or lay­out of an ad­ver­to­rial is sim­i­lar to that of mag­a­zine or news­pa­per ed­i­to­ri­als and read­ers are be­guiled into think­ing that they are read­ing an ar­ti­cle. An eth­i­cal lapse oc­curs when there is vi­o­la­tion or de­vi­a­tion from stan­dards know­ingly – for ex­am­ple, con­vey­ing an in­ac­cu­rate mes­sage while be­ing well aware that it is wrong. For ex­am­ple, Vim Ul­tra dish­wash pow­der claimed that it con­tained pure lemon juice, but the lab­o­ra­tory test proved that the claim was false. There are three pa­ram­e­ters that help in de­cid­ing whether an advertisement is eth­i­cal or not:

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