Many different companies try their best to advertise their product or service to attract potential customers. They use different strategies by emphasizing that by using their specific product or service their customer life will be better or even change. In comparison, marketers show how unhappy people would be without their products or service. Some customers are attracted to that kind of advertisement, but often those products or services fail to bring the happiness that is promised. Advertisement such as this are used to manipulate the minds of consumers by showing the potential customers how it would change their life after the purchase. It is important to marketers and consumers alike to advertise the product itself and not the consequence of using that specific product or service.
Ethics have always been an important aspect of every business activity, although the term has meant different things at different times in different lands to different people. Nonetheless, as ethical concerns are an inseparable element of business, advertising can not ignore them. Sadly, the advertising industry has rarely cared to look beyond immediate marketing objectives. Telling the truth seems like a pretty basic ethical standard. The argument in the industry is that it is the government's job to judge what is right and what is wrong. Shirking its own responsibility for regulation, the industry has belittled business values and agencies have harmed their balance sheets. For any business, customer is very important, and businessman attempt to communicate to all their target customers using means of communication like advertising and sales promotion. Advertising is a very powerful and most commonly used tool.
Advertisement is considered unethical in the following situations; •
When it has degraded or underestimated the substitute or rival's product. •
When it gives false or misleading information on the value of the product. •
When it fails to give useful information on the possible reaction or side effects of the product. •
When it is immoral.
CASE STUDY -1
FAIR & LOVELY
Fair & Lovely had an amazing 90% market share. Though some other brands along with Fair&handsome and Fairmen have taken away some market share from fair & lovely, it still leads the market comprehensively. However, Fair & Lovely is not proven to be real whiteners. Rather, it caters to the desire of women of becoming fairer. Fair & Lovely, a branded product of Unilever touted a cosmetic cream that supposedly lightens the skin “the miracle workers.” This product is popular in many Asian countries such as Pakistan, India and China. Many Indians have come to view fair skin as the ideal – and a business opportunity. Skin colour is important in India and many other Asian countries, where lighter skin colour represents a higher status. In those countries, fair skin is associated with positive values that relate to class and beauty. While many Europeans and Americans try their best to gets their skin darker using tanning salons and self-tan creams. Asian countries, on other hand, seek any cosmetic product to make their skin complexion lighter. The unilever claim that Fair & Lovely Fairness Cream gives you unmatched radiant fairness in just 4 weeks
UNETHICAL ADVERTISING PRACTICE OF FAIR & LOVELY
The UNILIVER Corporation took advantage of the cultural belief of benefits and beauty of fair skin and used it for their marketing purpose. The company made many different mistakes when advertising “the miracle workers.” Most of their advisement focused on a “fairer girl gets the boy”. Many people were offended by this advertising campaign. The Women’s Association appealed to the National Human Rights Commission stating that many of UNILIVER ads degrade women. They objected to three things. First - the ads were racist, second – they were promoting the preference of sons, and third – they were insulting to working women....
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