What are some issues with ethics in business advertising? Can you analyze and reflect on ethics in advertising?

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pmiranda2857's profile pic

pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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One aspect of ethics in advertising is the concept of pure truth or useful truth.  Pure truth very often cannot illustrate the product's best qualities, for example.  Volvo cars are built on a steel cage which makes them safer than cars that are not constructed this way. 

Therefore, in order to illustrate this truth about Volvo, the company has to formulate advertising in a way that will get the customer's attention and convey this very important message, about Volvo's superior construction. 

So Volvo has to stage a crash of some kind to compare their car to other makes and models to illustrate how the Volvo will hold up and protect the passengers.  This is known as useful truth in advertising.  Even though the ad is rigged to make sure the Volvo comes out of the simulated accident intact, the ad is still ethical and essentially true.

"Volvo's ad agency thought this would be a great idea for a commercial.  So they reinforced the beams inside the car to stand repeated assaults by the monster truck. When this came out in the press, Volvo was pilloried and the ad agency got fired, ultimately going out of business. Did that serve them right? Or was it a bum rap? In real life, a Volvo would stand up to one squashing by a monster truck. No question the TV demo was rigged. But what it showed was the truth."  

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riley0816's profile pic

riley0816 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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I designed a whole unit plan on ethics in advertising.  It includes a group project using internet sites showing unethical behaviors committed by well-known companies, two worksheets for individual projects, notes and a quiz.  If you are interested, please email me at ngialanella@woboe.org so I can reply to your email and attach my documents.  I cannt attach them to this answer from this website. 

sureshmoktan's profile pic

sureshmoktan | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

we can see the many attractive advertising. But a business firm should be maintain the ethical issues also. And before giving advertising firm should think about that how's that's effect in that people who can able to watch or listen.Also if a company or a firm is giving fake advertising and that time that company's employee also have a ethical problem why they are lying their own costumers or buyers. And that time they are also unsatisfied and they will not give the best performane. That time they will loose their self respect and they cannot survive in that competitive market. So before doing that any advertising of the product or service, company or a business firm should realize that ethics on that advertising how much good or bad impact can be occured. 

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