Ethics and Corporate Responsibility
LEG 500: Law, Ethics, and Corp Governance
Marketing and Advertising
The Federal Trade Commission monitors the advertising industries operations with strict federal regulations. The Bureau of Consumer Protection Bureau created The FTC Act to set forth requirements to enforce the truth in advertising so advertisers cannot be deceptive or unfair. Every facet of marketing and advertising is subject to laws and restrictions. Advertisements must be truthful; advertisers must have substantial evidence to back up their claims. “The FTC defines deceitful statements as those that are likely to mislead consumers and defines unfair advertisements as those that are likely to cause substantial, unavoidable injury when using a product, unless the injury is outweighed by the provable benefits.” (Ingram & Media, 2015) Advertising to children, advertising potential harmful products and using psychological tactics to stimulate demand are three issues related to marketing and advertising. Advertisers interpret the law and completely ignore the unethical ramifications of advertising to children at a young age. Advertisers use children to build brand loyalty in products, and they also use marketing tactics to get children hooked on products that impede their social development. The United States act differently on advertising of products and services. The Federal Trade Commission strikes a balance between regulating what people are allowed to indulge in and placing personal responsibility on citizens. The United States regulate some potential harmful products, for example, alcohol advertising ads are allowed in all media, whereas cigarette advertising ads are only permitted on particular media. Advertisers who use psychological tactics to stimulate demand cause additional ethical challenges. Marketing and advertisers use less than ethical tactics such as subliminal advertising and emotional appeals to promote their business. Advertisers use deceitful statements in marketing material to mislead consumers in an effort to manipulate the thinking of the consumer.
Intellectual property is any product that the law protects from unauthorized use by others. Intellectual property is comprised of four categories: Patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets. “The law of intellectual property is commonly understood as providing an incentive to authors and inventors to produce works for the benefit of the public by regulating the public's use of such works in order to ensure that authors and inventors are compensated for their efforts. (Legal Information Institute, 2015). With the arrival of the digital age, it has become a challenge to remain in control of one’s intellectual property. Intellectual property is necessary to give individuals the right to protect and own his work. The standards of copyrights, for instance, is an ongoing debated over "fair use" of copyrighted materials. Copyright ethics are not only an issue for business but for education as well. Is it ethical for schools to photocopying materials for classroom use and scholarly work? Intellectual property is a growing threat with the rise of digital technologies and Internet file sharing networks. Intellectual property is protected by law, but the ethical issues revolve around what is right and wrong, moral and principles of morality.
Regulation of product safety
“Businesses must give us what we pay for. Whenever we trade, we are exchanging goods and services within an implicit or explicit contract. One person is obligated to give one thing in exchange for another. People should not be deceived about what they are buying.” (Gray, 2011) Businesses have to make sure they give quality products to its consuming while practicing social responsibility. Unfortunately, companies can make moral decisions that are...
References: Direct-to-Consumer Pharmaceutical Advertising. (2011). Retrieved March 4, 2015 from
Intellectual property | Wex Legal Dictionary / Encyclopedia | LII / Legal Information Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/intellectual_property
List of Ethical & Legal Issues When Advertising | Chron.com. (2015). Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/list-ethical-legal-issues-advertising-11466.html
Moral Issues Related to Consumers | Ethical Realism. (2011). Retrieved from https://ethicalrealism.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/moral-issues-related-to-consumers/
What Are Compounding Pharmacies? (2010). Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20121010/what-are-compounding-pharmacies
Time to Ban Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Drug Marketing. (2007). Retrieved from http://www.annfammed.org/content/5/2/101.full
US Should Get Tough On Chinese IP Theft, Committee Warns - Forbes. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/emmawoollacott/2013/05/23/us-should-get-tough-on-chinese-ip-theft-committee-warns/
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