Sei sulla pagina 1di 15


Advertising can be defined as any paid form of non personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services through mass media such as newspapers, magazines, television or radio by an identified sponsor So basically advertising is a mass communications device through which companies promote or market their product to the consumer, and this enables them to make informed consumption decisions. Advertising is a powerful communication force, highly visible and one of the most important tools of marketing communication that helps to sell products, services, ideas and images etc. Many believe that advertising reflects the need of the times. Whether one likes it or not, advertisements are everywhere. They are seen on the walls, on the back of buses, in play grounds, on the occasion of sports event, on roadsides, in the stores and even on aeroplanes. Advertisements are seen in newspapers, in magazines, on the television, on internet and are even heard on radio. The fact is that we are being bombarded with advertisements day in and day out from all imaginable media. The average consumer is exposed to a very large number of advertisements everyday, particularly the urban and semi urban population. In spite of this, to the dismay and irritation of some and enjoyment of others, advertisement will continue to make their presence felt in our lives and influence our lives in many unsuspecting ways because of rapid changes in macro- environment and in our perception, impressions, feelings, attitudes and behaviour. It seems almost impossible to remain totally neutral and not take any notice of modern-day advertising. The most visible part of the advertising process is the advertisements that we see, read, or hear and praise or criticise. Many suitable adjectives are used to describe advertising, depending on how an individual is reacting, such as great, dynamic, alluring, fascinating, annoying, boring, intrusive, irritating and offensive, etc. Advertising plays an important part in our everyday lives as it enables us to choose between different ranges of products. These products are promoted through different types of advertisements and cater to all types of markets. . Advertising enables producers to expand their markets and therefore take advantage of economies of scale to reduce unit production costs.

Many advertisements are designed to generate increased consumption of those products and services through the creation and reinvention of the "brand image. For these purposes, advertisements sometimes embed their persuasive message with factual information. Every major medium is used to deliver these messages, including television, radio, cinema, magazines, newspapers, video games, the Internet, carrier bags and billboards. Advertising is often placed by an advertising agency on behalf of a company or other organization. On the other hand advertising is plagued with social and ethical issues as it results in over consumption and waste of resources. Ethics basically refers to what is right, good or consistent with virtue. Advertising generates complex ethical questions which have to be considered, as this mode of communication commits some highly controversial ethical acts which are damaging to the society as a whole. It promotes overselling, exploitation of vulnerable groups, vulgarity, offending the public, promoting socially harmful values or behavior and intrusion of privacy. Advertising creates an environment where it abuses certain values and interests that are not universally agreed upon. For example in 2001 Yves Saint Laurent launched a Fragrance called Opium which featured a naked model. This stirred controversy and people found it offensive and sex was being used openly to promote a perfume. For a fashion magazine the advertisement was fine but for billboards it was inappropriate an some social groups found it morally and ethically wrong. Some times advertising draws mixed response from the public, while sometimes it becomes controversial.

In this era of globalization &multinational competition, ethical practices in business are assuming importance as relationships with various suppliers& customers are shaped by ethical practices& mutual trust. So, ethical decision taking assumes importance in todays corporate world.

What is Ethics?
Ethics refers to principles that define behavior as right, good and proper. Such principles do not always dictate a single "moral" course of action, but provide a means of evaluating and deciding among competing options. The terms "ethics" and "values" are not interchangeable. Ethics is concerned with how a moral person should behave, whereas values are the inner judgments that determine how a person actually behaves. Values concern ethics when they pertain to beliefs about what is right and wrong. Most values, however, have nothing to do with ethics. For instance, the desire for health and wealth are values, but not ethical values.

3. The Importance of Universality Most people have convictions about what is right and wrong based on religious beliefs, cultural roots, family background, personal experiences, laws, organizational values, professional norms and political habits. These are not the best values to make ethical decisions by not because they are unimportant, but because they are not universal. In contrast to consensus ethical values such basics as trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship personal and professional beliefs vary over time, among cultures and among members of the same society. They are a source of continuous historical disagreement, even wars. There is nothing wrong with having strong personal and professional moral convictions about right and wrong, but unfortunately, some people are "moral imperialists" who seek to impose their personal moral judgments on others. The universal ethical value of respect for others dictates honouring the dignity and autonomy of each person and cautions against self-righteousness in areas of legitimate controversy.

4. Why Be Ethical? People have lots of reasons for being ethical: There is inner benefit. Virtue is its own reward. There is personal advantage. It is prudent to be ethical. Its good business.

There is approval. Being ethical leads to self-esteem, the admiration of loved ones and the respect of peers. There is religion. Good behavior can please or help serve a deity. There is habit. Ethical actions can fit in with upbringing or training. The ethics of self-interest When the motivation for ethical behavior is self-interest, decision-making is reduced to risk-reward calculations. If the risks from ethical behavior are high - or the risks from unethical behavior are low and the reward is high - moral principles succumb to expediency. This is not a small problem Many people cheat on exams, lie on resumes, and distort or falsify facts at work. The realtest of our ethics is whether we are willing to do the right thing even when it is not in our self-interest. The pursuit of happiness It depends on how one defines happiness. Our values, what we prize and desire, determine what we think will make us happy. We are free to pursue material goals and physical sensations, but that alone rarely (if ever) leads to enduring happiness. It more often results in a lonely, disconnected, meaningless existence. The morally mature individual finds happiness in grander pursuits than money, status, sex and mood-altering substances. A deeper satisfaction lies in honoring universal ethical values, that is, values that people everywhere believe should inform behavior. That unity between principled belief and honourable behavior is the foundation for real happiness.


The Second Vatican Council declared: "If the media are to be correctly employed, it is essential that all who use them know the principles of the moral order and apply

them faithfully in this domain. The moral order to which this refers is the order of the law of human nature, binding upon all because it is "written on their hearts" and embodies the imperatives of authentic human fulfilment. For Christians, moreover, the law of human nature has a deeper dimension, a richer meaning. "Christ is the? Beginning who, having taken on human nature, definitively illumines it in its constitutive elements and in its dynamism of charity towards God and neighbour. Here we comprehend the deepest significance of human freedom: that it makes possible an authentic moral response, in light of Jesus Christ, to the call "to form our conscience, to make it the object of a continuous conversion to what is true and to what is good. In this context, the media of social communications have two options, and only two. Either they help human persons to grow in their understanding and practice of what is true and good, or they are destructive forces in conflict with human well being. That is entirely true of advertising. Against this background, then, we point to this fundamental principle for people engaged in advertising: advertisers that is, those who commission, prepare or disseminate advertising are morally responsible for what they seek to move people to do; and this is a responsibility also shared by publishers, Broadcasting executives, and others in the communications world, as well as by those who give commercial or political endorsements, to the extent that they are involved in the advertising process. If an instance of advertising seeks to move people to choose and act rationally in morally good ways that are of true benefit to themselves and others, persons involved in it do what is morally good; if it seeks to move people to do evil deeds that are selfdestructive and destructive of authentic community,they do evil. This applies also to the means and the techniques of advertising: it is morally wrong to use manipulative, exploitative, corrupt and corrupting methods of persuasion and motivation. In this regard, we note special problems associated with so-called indirect advertising that attempts to move people to act in certain ways for example, purchase particular products without their being fully aware that they are being swayed. The techniques involved here include showing certain products or forms of behavior in

superficially glamorous settings associated with superficially glamorous people; in extreme cases, it may even involve the use of subliminal messages. Within this very general framework, we can identify several moral principles that are particularly relevant to advertising. We shall speak briefly of three: truthfulness, the dignity of the human person, and social responsibility.

a) Truthfulness in Advertising
Even today, some advertising is simply and deliberately untrue. Generally speaking, though, the problem of truth in advertising is somewhat more subtle: it is not that advertising says what is overtly false, but that it can distort the truth by implying things that are not so or withholding relevant facts. As Pope John Paul II points out, on both the individual and social levels, truth and freedom are inseparable; without truth as the basis, starting point and criterion of discernment, judgment, choice and action, there can be no authentic exercise of freedom .The Catechism of the Catholic Church, quoting the Second Vatican Council, insists that the content of communication be "true and within the limits set by justice and charity complete"; the content should, moreover, be Communicated "honestly and properly." To be sure, advertising, like other forms of expression, has its own conventions and forms of stylization, and these must be taken into account when discussing truthfulness. People take for granted some rhetorical and symbolic exaggeration in advertising; within the limits of recognized and accepted practice, this can be allowable. But it is a fundamental principle that advertising may not deliberately seek to deceive, whether it does that by what it says, by what it implies, or by what it fails to say. "The proper exercise of the right to information demands that the content of what is communicated be true and, within the limits set by justice and charity, complete. ... Included here is the obligation to avoid any manipulation of truth for any reason."

b) The Dignity of the Human Person

There is an "imperative requirement" that advertising "respect the human person, his rightduty to make a responsible choice, his interior freedom; all these goods would be

violated if man's lower inclinations were to be exploited, or his capacity to reflect and decide compromised. These abuses are not merely hypothetical possibilities but realities in much advertising today. Advertising can violate the dignity of the human person both through its content what is advertised, the manner in which it is advertised and through the impact it seeks to make upon its audience. We have spoken already of such things as appeals to lust, vanity, envy and greed, and of techniques that manipulate and exploit human weakness. In such circumstances, advertisements readily become "vehicles of a deformed outlook on life, on the family, on religion and on morality an outlook that does not respect the true dignity and destiny of the human person. This problem is especially acute where particularly vulnerable groups or classes of persons are concerned: children and young people, the elderly, the poor, the culturally disadvantaged. Much advertising directed at children apparently tries to exploit their credulity and suggestibility, in the hope that they will put pressure on their parents to buy products of no real benefit to them. Advertising like this offends against the dignity and rights of both children and parents; it intrudes upon the parent-child relationship and seeks to manipulate it to its own base ends. Also, some of the comparatively little advertising directed specifically to the elderly or culturally disadvantaged seems designed to play upon their fears so as to persuade them to allocate some of their limited resources to goods or services of dubious value.

c) Advertising and Social Responsibility

Social responsibility is such a broad concept that we can note here only a few of the many issues and concerns relevant under this heading to the question of advertising. The ecological issue is one. Advertising that fosters a lavish life style which wastes resources and despoils the environment offends against important ecological concerns. "In his desire to have and to enjoy rather than to be and grow, man consumes the resources of the earth and his own life in an excessive and disordered way. ... Man thinks that he can make arbitrary use of the earth, subjecting it without restraint to his will, as though it did not have its own requisites and a prior God-given purpose, which

man can indeed develop but must not betray. As this suggests, something more fundamental is at issue here:authentic and integral human development. Advertising that reduces human progress to acquiring material goods and cultivating a lavish life style expresses a false, destructive vision of the human person harmful to individuals and society alike. When people fail to practice "a rigorous respect for the moral, cultural and spiritual requirements, based on the dignity of the person and on the proper identity of each community, beginning with the family and religious societies," then even material abundance and the conveniences that technology makes available "will prove unsatisfying and in the end contemptible. Advertisers, like people engaged in other forms of social communication, have a serious duty to express and foster an authentic vision of human development in its material, cultural and spiritual dimensions. Communication that meets this standard is, among other things, a true expression of solidarity. Indeed, the two things communication and solidarity are inseparable, because, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out, solidarity is "a consequence of genuine and right communication and the free circulation of ideas that further knowledge and respect for others.

Types of Unethical Practices in Advertising

Puffery Puffery as a legal term refers to promotional statements and claims that express subjective rather than objective views, such that no reasonable person would take literally. Puffery is especially featured in testimonials. "Puffery" consists of promotional claims that no one out of diapers takes literally. Your two-year old might believe that polar bears enjoy sipping Coca-Cola. But you know better. Because twoyear-olds make no spending decisions, advertisers have always been free to enliven their ads with harmless hyperbole. Under existing UCC law, the burden of proof rests on plaintiffs asserting that particular advertising claims are factually misleading rather than mere puffery. If the Commissioners' proposal becomes law, however, every advertising claim will be

presumed to be part of the agreement between the seller and buyer. Buyers will be presumed to have relied upon even the most obviously absurd advertising exaggerations. For example, Coca-Cola would be liable to consumers for damages caused if it advertises that Coke cures cancer. Reasonable consumers might be fooled into drinking more Coke only because of its alleged medicinal properties. But, by definition, puffery does not mislead reasonable consumers. Puffery enables an advertiser to grab consumers by their collars and say "Hey, have I got a great product for you!" If firms are discouraged from placing in their ads all but the driest factual claims, consumers will be forced to spend more of their own time and resources discovering which products are available.

The role advertisements play in the development and perpetuation of gender-role stereotypes. Jones (1991) noted that an analysis of advertisements by Goffman (1976) found numerous instances of subtle stereotyping including: 1. Functional ranking the tendency to depict men in executive roles and as more functional when collaborating with women, 2. Relative size the tendency to depict men as taller and larger than women, except When women are clearly superior in social status, 3. Reutilization of subordination an overabundance of images of women lying on Floors and beds or as objects of men's mock assaults, 4. The feminine touch the tendency to show women cradling and caressing the surface of objects with their fingers, and 5. Family fathers depicted as physically distant from their families or as relating Primarily to sons, and mothers depicted as relating primarily to daughters. Surrogate Advertisements In India alcohol and cigarette advertisements were banned outright some years back. However, alcohol and cigarette companies alike are using the avenue of surrogate advertisements to press forward their case. For the viewer though, the subtle pointer towards the real deal is enough as the surrogate advertisements leave no ambiguity in their minds.

Promoting unhealthy products

Due to the globalization of the economy the globe is indeed becoming a smaller place, marketers have to bear in mind national, local and cultural sensitivities. marketers do have to act with celerity in gaining footholds in emerging markets such as China and India, care has to be taken in ensuring that the mores, etiquettes of the land are not encroached upon. The incorporation of newer technologies has meant that a number of issues such as invasion of privacy and credibility have arisen.

Subliminal Advertising
The advertising industry, a prominent and powerful industry, engages in deceptive subliminal advertising which most us are unaware of. By bypassing our unconscious mind using subliminal techniques, advertisers tap into the vulnerabilities surrounding our unconscious mind, manipulating and controlling us in many ways. Since the 1940's subliminal advertising blossomed until now, when you can find subliminal in every major advertisement and magazine cover. Legislation against the advertisers has had no effect in curbing the use of subliminal. In this Information Age, it seems people are no longer in control of the people. It is obvious that by tapping into the consumer's unconscious mind without their knowledge, the advertisers are engaging in deceptive practices. It is also an invasion of privacy. But, is this legal? The answer is no. There are numerous legislation that prohibit advertisers from using subliminal messages in their ads. Subliminal are inherently deceptive because the consumer does not perceive them at a normal level of awareness, and thus is given no choice whether to accept or reject the message, as is the case with normal advertising.

Advertising to children
Children are easily persuaded and have a large pull on today's markets, as is known by all advertisers, even ones who do not intend for their products to be consumed by children. In creating an audience at such a young age, producers are aiming to have a loyal audience of grown adult.


Comparison of advertising
Comparative advertising is an advertisement in which a particular product, or service, specifically mentions a competitor by name for the express purpose of showing why the competitor is inferior to the product naming it. Comparative advertising, also referred to as knocking copy, is loosely defined as advertising where the advertised brand is explicitly compared with one or more competing brands and the comparison is oblivious to the audience. Promotional technique in which an advertiser claims the superiority of its product over competing product(s) by direct or indirect comparison. If other products are mentioned by their name (and not as 'brand X,' 'brand Y,' etc.) the owners of

those brands may








a court.

Also called comparative advertising or competitive advertising.

Case Study: MacDonald Ad

The ad depicts the initial disappointment a boy faces when he opens his lunch box only to realise it is empty. His friends on the same table cast pitying looks on him, knowing the boy's parents have probably forgotten about getting him lunch. However, all of this is changed when the boy's father appears with a MacDonald's meal in his hands. Instantly, all the children became envious of the boy for having such a "thoughtful and loving" father. A Kantian Perspective The act of trying to make children believe that having a MacDonalds meal from a parent is representative of their love and care, and that it will draw envy from others is in itself an act of exploiting the innocence and naivety of children. This advertisement uses the sadness of children as a means for MacDonald to attract the adults who have the purchasing power, to increase their profits. In this case, children are being used as means to achieving profit maximising objectives. A Utilitarian Perspective A utilitarian would argue that whether the act is right or wrong, is dependent on the actual consequences resulting an action. In this case, advertisers are aware that children lack the full of understanding of the commercial world and are hence, unable to make rational decisions. As such, the decision to persuade parents into buying MacDonalds is done so without proper and rational decision making. Such marketing communications that talk to children only at their level of actual development result in negative consequences through the exploitation of the innocence and naivety of the childrens mind.


A Milton Friedman View Similar to above, Friedmans belief that the marketers role is to make profits for the shareholders of the business by creating maximum awareness. Therefore, given the large influence children have over the adults purchases of MacDonalds meals, it can be argued that advertisers in an increasing competitive fast food industry should not ignore the children in their market. Therefore, advertisements targeted to children that tucks into their basic social needs such as love and concern from parents would seem to be the most natural course of route to take in order to evoke emotions and response from them. This will ultimately force parents into buying the products and finally, increasing MacDonalds market share. Possible Ethical Approach As proposed by ethics of care, special care should be given to children who are susceptible to influence due to their early stage of development. Therefore, a framework that combines Kantian and Utilitarian ethics is necessary to ensure that children who are targetted by advertisers will not suffer any possible negative repercussions. While Friedman may argue that marketers are merely communicating to their target consumers, it is necessary for advertisers to pay special attention to how the messages are being communicated. Advertisements that talk to children at the edge of their development rather than at their level of development prevent the exploitation of a childs inability to make rational decisions.


Good Marketing Citizens All in all, it can be seen that ethical issues in marketing in the context of developing countries is highly sensitive to cultural, social and ethical issues. The larger issue is thus not merely an occidental versus an oriental one. For the marketing fraternity to be a good ethical citizen, the onus lie on themselves-for indeed, marketers have to stop indulging in unethical practices and start respecting local mores and values. Although today no one can ignore the importance of advertisement. In this globalized world advertisements play an important role of the success of any organization. These day a different sector has develop to handle the advertising of the company and a lot of money spend on that sector as seeing the importance of this. One the one hand we accepts the importance of advertising but on the other hand we cant avoid its bad impact on the society and culture. Due to the high competition today companies are accepting cheap and

unethical equipments for advertising. These ads give a wrong message to the society and to the new generation who are the future of the upcoming society. If today new generation gains a wrong moral values and wrong method of living they will harm their health as well as mental analyzing power. And in future they will enable to give right message to their traits. We have to think about this unethical problem and this wrong presentation of business. So that we can give a good ethics to our youngers.


Bibliography,_Marketing_and_the_Truth#Cas e_Study:_MacDonald_Ad 96188420&lt=1396192030&user_id=251121130&uahk=kVciB6SKhv0bQPcBrBtCun BXrOQ