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Running head: Bus-290 Ethics and the Conduct of Business

Sexual harassment in advertising
Robert L. Martin
Strayer University
Ethics and the Conduct of Business
Prof. Hartman
November 16, 2009

Sexual harassment in advertising
Could a company’s advertising ever contribute to an environment in which harassing behavior is more likely to occur? That is, should a company consider the impact of an advertising theme on the behavior of their own employees? In your opinion, did the Swedish bikini team advertising campaign contribute to the harassing behavior of the women’s male coworkers? No, harassment is an individual act of a person. Companies have harassment policies that discourage this type of behavior. The company employee’s advertising agencies to create the advertisement for the product. The advertising agencies and the company have no idea of the impact of an advertisement on an individual. The individual alone is responsible for his or her harassing behavior whether Sexual or not. As far as Stroh Brewing Company and the Swedish bikini team advertisement is concerned, the employee’s are responsible for the harassment to the women employees. Businesses for decades have used sex in some way or another to advertise the product of a company. The advertising campaign of Stroh Brewing Company with the Swedish bikini team is no different, than an advertising campaign for a bottle of cologne or perfume. This is not to say the five women that sued Stroh Brewing Company were not harassed. Just that the advertising of the beer was not a contributing factor. According to an article in the New York Times, the lawyer for the women charged that some of the male coworkers and a supervisor sexually harassed the women numerous times and would verbally insult the women. She also cited suggestive graffiti and calendar photographs of nude women in the suit. (Elliott, THE MEDIA BUSINESS: ADVERTISING; Suit Over Sex in Beer Ads Comes as Genre...
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