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Advertising & Marketing Ethics Assignment

Brenda Edmund Fiona Kuan Loong Yi Hui


G12
17 October 2014
Ethics & Social Responsibility
Question 1 Part I
Should the law ban targeted
advertisement, especially in the
case of children?
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
What are Targeted Advertisements?
Advertisements that reach certain consumers
based on various traits such as demographics,
psychographics, behavioral variables (such as
product purchase history), and other second-
order activities which serve as as proxy for these
traits.

Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Clarification
Children: under 12 years old
Focus on Commercial Advertisements: a form
of communication with the intention of
promoting the sale of particular product
attached to a brand.
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Recap on Irrational Persuasion
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Irrational persuasion occurs when the
advertisement irrationally persuades by denying
individuals their autonomy.
This is done through the exploitation of deep-
seated emotions or sense perceptions.
Arguments for Banning
Childrens cognitive abilities are poorer and
more susceptible to advertisers irrational
persuasion.
Psychologists have found that children from 3-7
years old gravitate towards toys that transform
themselves into something else.
e.g. McDonalds happy meals


Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Macdonalds Video
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Arguments for Banning
Children tend to want products
regardless of their prices and suitability.
They will realize their wants by using
their pester power to make their
parents agree to buying the product
for them.

Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Is Targeted Advertising Ethical based
on the Kantian Theory?
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Maxim: Sellers can promote their products in any
way to children even if it distorts their choices .

Principle of Universality: inefficient allocation of resources.
Principle of Humanity:
o Children are treated as a means to an end.
o Impedes childrens autonomy and impairs their parents
rationality.
UNETHICAL
Argument Against Banning
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Advertisements provide information
about the product.
They let the audience, who are children
in this case, know more about the
products in the market.
Is Targeted Advertising then Ethical
based on Rule Utilitarianism?
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Rule: Sellers can have advertisements that
inform children about their products.
The rule can hold, as it promotes the efficient
allocation of resources in society.
ETHICAL
However, do these advertisements really only give
information and not distort choices of the children?
No, there is often irrational persuasion in place to
entice the children.
Our Stand
Advertisements targeted at
children should be banned.
Question 1 Part I
Should advertisements be allowed,
for example, in school premises and
school buses?
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
What are the Types of Advertisements?
Commercial Advertisements-Children targeted that
irrationally persuade children.
Public Service Advertisements those that come with
a message concerning public interest.

Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Are the Advertisements Ethical based
on Rule Utilitarianism?
Maxim: Advertisements can be carried
out on platforms of educational
institutes.
Mills Relative Qualities:
o Children targeted commercial advertisements will
generate a lower pleasure.
o public service advertisements that promote public
interest will generate a higher pleasure.

Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Are the Advertisements Ethical based
on Rule Utilitarianism?
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Children Targeted
Advertisements
Public Service
Advertisements
Students Happy Happy
Parents Unhappy Happy
Sellers Happy Happy
Public Unhappy Happy
Our Stand
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Only Public Service Advertisements
should be allowed, in school
premises and on school buses.

Question 1 Part II
Are there other categories in the
general population who should be
treated separately in matters relating
to advertisements?
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
What is it Meant by Treated Separately?
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
To be exceptionally careful when advertisements
appeal to these groups of people.
These groups are more vulnerable than the
general population.
Hence, sellers should reconsider if they want to
specially target these groups in their
advertisements, and care has to be taken if they
decide to do so.eg elderly larger front size

Which Groups should be Treated Separately
from the General Population?
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Elderly
o Eyesight disadvantage: Fine print
o Irrational persuasion specially to matters
regarding health and youthfulness
o Example: Commercials that suggest using a
product can make you younger


Example of Elderly Targeted
Advertisements
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Which Groups should be Treated Separately
from the General Population?
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Addicts
Rational thinking ability impaired due to
addiction
Especially vulnerable to products that they are
addicted to as they could not resist temptation.
Loss of autonomy



Example of Addict Targeted
Advertisements
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Irrationally persuades alcohol
addicts that this beer will
allow them to be as fast and
powerful as Liu Xiang.
This misleads them into
buying more alcohol when
they are already addicted.

Based on Kantian Theory, why must
these groups be treated separately?
Maxim: Sellers can make use of
advertisements to take advantage of
consumers fear or irrational considerations.
Principle of Universality: the maxim cannot be universalised. If all
sellers did this, the targeted customers will buy products they do not
actually need, resulting in an inefficient allocation of resources.
Principle of Humanity: These people are have a more vulnerable
mind. Their rationality is impaired when producers specifically tailor
advertisements to exploit their deep-seated emotions and wants.
Buyers are treated as a means to an end to generate more profit.
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Our Stand
It is unethical to distort choices of these
groups of consumers.
Sellers should be very careful if they want to
target them in advertisements, or choose to
not target these groups at all.
As it is hard to justify advertisement are
targeted at addicts, there should be a ban
on advertisement that promote addictive
products e.g cigarettes
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Question 2
Some 20 years ago, Volvo used TV and print
advertisements depicting a monster Bear Foot
truck going over the roofs of various cars of
different makes, with only the Volvo surviving.

Discuss and comment on the above case. In
particular, how ethical do you think Volvo was?
Please give your reasons.

Volvos Case Background
Case of Deceptive Advertising:
A monster truck rides atop the
roofs of the cars lined up its
path.
Only the Volvo car is left
standing when a monster truck
rolls over all the cars.
Illustrated the companys
advertising message of strength
and safety.
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
What is Deceptive Advertising?
Deception occurs when a false belief,
which an advertisement either creates
or takes advantage of, substantially
interferes with the ability of a person to
make rational consumer choices.
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
When does Deceptive Advertising Occur?
Deceptive Advertisements can come in the
form of:

False Statements
Propositions with figurative interpretations
Half-truths
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Volvo s Deceptive Advertising Modes
Untrue Statements
Half-truths
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Volvos Untrue Statement
Advertised
Product
Modification Actual Relation between the Real
World and What is Stated
Volvo
Station
Wagon
Roof artificially
reinforced with
lumber and
steel.
Volvo wagon in advertisement
portrayed as generally strong. However,
one occurrence in Vermont does not
mean it will happen again.
Other Car
Models
Roof supports
are sawed
through.
Other car models portrayed to be
weaker than reality.
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Volvos Half-Truth
Volvo initially intended this advertisement to be a
dramatization of a similar stunt that occurred in Vermont.

This advertisement was then released without informing the
consumers that it is a re-make of the actual event itself.

The silence conducted here by Volvo in not stating this
advertisement is a dramatic remake of the stunt amounts to
a half-truth. (Half-Truth)

Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Volvos Irrational Persuasion
This advertisement creates fear in consumers with the
graphical image of crushed cars and promises to fulfil
certain human needs with the owning of a Volvo wagon.

The needs are:
Emotional Security:
Volvo wagon not being crushed after a few run-overs
from Bear-Foot.
Ego-Gratification/Sense of Power:
Volvo wagon withstanding the weight of Bear-Foot.


Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Are Volvos Actions Ethical based on
the Kantian Theory?
Maxim: Sellers can modify advertised products
without informing consumers even if the modification is
material to a consumers rational purchase decision.
Principle of Universality: Maxim cannot be universalised as
if a rational consumer decision is affected, the autonomy
of a consumer is violated.
Principle of Humanity: Treating consumers as a means to
profit maximization.
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Are Volvos Actions Ethical based on
the Kantian Theory?
Fails to inform consumer of the scene recreation
and consumer led to believe that Volvo cars are
generally strong.
Comparison of safety standards between car
models which is material to rational car buyers
purchase decision becomes flawed.
Fails Principle of Universality & Humanity


Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
UNETHICAL
Volvos Ethical Arguments
Volvo denies knowledge of
rigging.
Alterations to the cars were to
enable the production crew to
conduct the demonstration
safely and to allow Volvo to
withstand the repeated runs of
the monster truck.

Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Maxim: Employers should ensure that workplace
conditions are safe for its employees and personnel
involved in its business dealings.
Principle of Universality: all employers should guarantee
safe working conditions as much as employees are
obliged to protect employers interests.
Principle of Humanity: employer is treating employees as
an ends by ensuring their safety.
Are Volvos Arguments Ethical based on
the Kantian Theory?
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Rebuttal to Volvos Arguments
Question of Universality
Customers are also stakeholders in this
business dealing(advertisement).
Their comparison of safety standards between
car models is taken for granted in exchange
for employees safety.
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
UNETHICAL
Similar Cases in Advertising
Cases where
companies made use
of mock-ups in its
advertisements.
A mock-up is a full life-
sized display model
that looks similar to
the original product.
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Similar Cases in Advertising
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Ice-Cream Mashed Potatoes
Similarity Appearance in the advertisement
Difference Melts easily under
the studio light in
the set of the
advertisement
Does not melt
under the studio
light or any other
conditions.

Similar Cases in Advertising
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Difference in whether it will melt in studio conditions
is not material to the rational consumers purchase
decision for an ice-cream.
Rational consumers would expect it to melt after
some time under normal circumstances.
Therefore, modification will not affect his decision.

ETHICAL
Question 3
There are many slimming services, hair re-growth
and weight loss products being marketed in
Singapore. Can you find a generally ethical
example, and another which you view to be
much more unethical? Your examples should be
for similar products/services.

Apart from general principles covered in your text,
you may also like to use the guidelines stated in
the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice to
assist you. Please justify your decision as
comprehensively as you can.



Slimming Centres Are they Ethical?
Advertisements
Guarantee Claims
Pricing
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Slimming Advertisements
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Slimming Advertisements
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Being plump is unfavourable in society as depicted by the
woman who had problems in her work and family due to
her plump figure.
Implicit societal effect of manipulating a sense of worth and
self-esteem based on your figure.
Does this go against the SCAP?
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Despite negative implications of this video, it is not in
violation of Singapore Code of Advertising Practices
(SCAP).
It was a genuine experience of a customer who had
undergone LWM treatments.
Is this Ethical based on Rule
Utilitarianism?
Rule: Business can use advertisements to distort
peoples perception of their personal needs.


Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Stakeholders Reaction Reason
Current & potential
obese customers
Unhappy

Decrease in self-esteem
Public Unhappy Perpetuate social stigma against
fat people
London Weight
Management
Happy Higher sales
UNETHICAL
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Slimming Advertisements
Is this Ethical based on the Rule
Utilitarianism?
Rule: Sellers can use advertisements to
provide information that can help customers
make a rational purchasing decision.


Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Stakeholders Reaction Reason
Customer Happy

Information on benefits in making
a rational purchase
Public Happy Information on benefits in making
a rational purchase
Slim Couture Happy Higher sales
ETHICAL
Slimming Advertisements
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
The nice footage depicting the pretty lady
enjoying her treatments may lead to irrational
persuasion through exploiting sense perception,
which is slightly unethical
Overall, it is ethical as the main focus and aim of
their advertisement was to inform customers of
their treatment benefits


ETHICAL
Guarantee Claims
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Both brands claim
to give 100%
guaranteed results,
or customers will
get their money
back.
Guarantee Claims Issue
The guarantee statements are vague half-truths.
Both firms do not qualify what they mean by results or
explain how much money they will return the client if
there are no results achieved.
It may end up with a situation where the customer will be
unable to get her money back despite a lack of
satisfactory or significant results.
Hence, there is an issue of deceptive advertising with
half-truths here.

Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Is this Ethical under the Kantian Theory?
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Maxim: Retailers can leave out certain
information or terms that can materially affect
consumers purchase choices.
Principle of Universality: the maxim cannot be
universalised as consumers may purchase services
they do not need and it leads to an inefficient
allocation of resources.
Principle of Humanity: Customers are treated as a
means to an end and these half-truths impair the
rationality of the customers.
UNETHICAL
Does this go against the SCAP?
Guarantees give the impression that the
treatments will definitely work.
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Does this go against the SCAP?
The remedial action (money back) is not clearly
defined in the advertisement.
Limitations to the results guaranteed are not stated
clearly either.
Guarantee claims do not go in line with the SCAP.
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Pricing
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
$28 for 10 slimming
treatments.
3-piece fat-burning
set as a free gift.
The original price is
quoted to be $668.
Transparent Pricing Issue
The $28 deal only covers the first few slimming
treatments.
The cost of the rest of the subsequent treatments
are not stated.
Tactic of Luring: to entice the customer with a
cheap initial deal, before selling a much higher
priced full package.
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Is this Ethical based on the Kantian Theory?
Maxim: To gain more business, retailers can discount
their services initially and not disclose their subsequent
high charges to customers.
Principle of Universality: the maxim cannot be
universalised as if all sellers did that, there will be a lack of
trust between buyers and sellers.
Principle of Humanity: Buyers interests in discounted items
should not be taken advantage of to treat them as a
means for profit rather than an end.
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
UNETHICAL
Customers Experience at LWM
Before the customer could enjoy the treatments from
the $28 package, she was persuaded by the staff to
sign up for another package if the treatments received
on that day proved to be effective.
The package cost $3800 for 30 treatments.
The customer was lured into visiting LWM and this
curtailed her autonomy to decide on whether to
purchase the full $3800 package.
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Did that go against the SCAP?
Although unethical, what LWM did was not against
the SCAP.
The customer did get to enjoy the first 10 treatments
at $28 in the end.
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Pricing
No discount gimmicks. Full treatment schedules are stated clearly.
Prices stated are to be paid upfront before customers start any
treatments.
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Is the Pricing Ethical based on the
Kantian Theory?
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Maxim: To gain more business, retailers can
discount their services initially and not disclose
their subsequent high charges to customers.

Sellers are unethical for using discounts to lure customers as
the above maxim cannot be universalised.
Here, Slim Couture does not lure to gain more business.
Respects customers autonomy and rationality to decide if
they want to purchase the package at the fixed price.

ETHICAL
Conclusion
Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
is more ethical than
THANK YOU