Ethics in Advertising
In the century of advertising industry, we are “attacked” by a large range of commercial messages which exists everyday everywhere not only in the mass media like TV, newspapers, internets…but also in train, bus, schools…It is undoubted that we usually wonder about the reliability of those messages. In fact, a lot of companies exaggerate their pieces of advertisements to make more profits. They earn money at any cost by lying consumer and intentionally forget the concept of ethical norm and principles. In other words, companies or advertisers gradually underestimate their ethical value in advertising in general as well as in deceptive advertising in particular. Advertising is originally known as a tool for producers to transmit information to consumers. However, its nature has changed for many recent years due to advertisers’ greed. They attempt to make their products appear in the most outstanding way to attract more and more consumers using their tricks like “The testimonial, Sex and beauty, Fears and insecurities”1. They are so intelligent enough to explore and access customer’s mind to aim at their own benefits. According to McClearn “Truth is a scarce commodity, in business as elsewhere” and advertisers are too good to tell the truth. The term “deceptive” exists to illustrate “truth” in marketing or advertising. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defines this word as “being a representation, omission, act or practice that is likely to mislead consumers acting reasonably under the circumstances. To be regulated, however, a deceptive claim must also be material”2. Take Listerine as a example, it was widely introduced to America market by Warner-Lambert Co. in 1914 and by 1975, FTC forced this company to pay $ 10 million for false advertising since its product was useless to cure sore throats3. Consumers were treated as idiots for many years, using Listerine with erroneous belief of its ability to treat colds and sore throats. This is...
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