Self – Regulation Laws and Ethics in Advertising

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1. Self – regulation laws and ethics in Advertising :
Self – regulation in advertising is a voluntary and internal mechanism within the profession. It is the process to monitor its own standards rather than have an outside, independent agency such as government entity to monitor and enforce those standards. Ethics is a bit harder to define. It has to do with an inherhent sense of right and wrong. Ethics refer to well based standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, and fairness. Ethical standards include those that include virtues of honesty, compassion and loyalty. Ethics create a framework for determining right versus wrong. They are not absolute rules. Law is a system of rules, enforced through a set of institutions. It deals with rightness and wrongness of certain actions. Law also raises important and complex issues regarding equality, fairness and justice. A law is a government rule, a decree handed by the authorities to punish those who disobey. Self – regulation, Ethics and Law clearly have different ends. The purpose of ethics is to make people good. The purpose of law on the other hand is to maintain order in society by upholding human rights and human good. Law is not there to enforce ethics but to make it possible for people to live ethically. Some say that law has no business or connection with morality at all. All three – Self – regulation, Ethics and Law – work for the protection of the interest of the consumers. Advertising is a social firm where creativity, consumer needs and business interest meet. All three work towards the well being of society. Advertising requires a balance between consumer’s interest, creativity and ethics. The efforts by Self – regulation do not often stop malpractices in advertising or the creation of misleading advertising objectionable ads. However the ASCI, sees to it that these ads are looked into Ethical issues are complex. It is influenced by the very large background of tradition & culture. There is no clear consensus on what defines ethical issues. The difficulty is describing what is obscene advertisement arises as it is subjective and depends on individual perception. However, if any issue is seen as ethically undesirable by the large majority, it is looked into and rectified(Baywatch/ Beauty contest, etc.)

Self regulation in Advertising :
Do’s
Self regualtion by the advertising industry is better than state control. •Advertising trade association should be mainly concerned with maintaining high standards. •Radio & Television should co – operate closely to avoid permitting advertising that might cause unfavourable social reactions. •Newspapers while publishing advertisement should publish the tariff charged for each advertisement to ensure that no unusual fee over & above the normal market rate is charged, which may have other undesirable implication. (Press Council of India’s Advertisement Code). •There should always be proper communication, vigilance & understanding between the advertisement department & the editorial department to avoid acceptance or publication of an undesirable advertisement. •Editor’s should assert their right to accept or reject advertisements, particularly those which border on or cross the line between decency & obscenity. •Editors should own full responsibilities for aavertisements & editorial matters published in his newspapers, unless such responsibilities are clearly disclaimed in advance in respect of any such published material. •Advertisement must be truthful in description, claims & comparisions, & these should be capable of substantiation on demand. (ASCI Code). •Observe fairness in competition so that the consumers need to be informed on choice in the market – place & the canons generally accepted competitive behavior in business are both served. •Abide by the Doordarshan(Indian TV) & AIR (All INDIA RADIO) advertising...
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