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Ethics in Advertising (http://www.aef.

com/on_campus/classroom/speaker_pres/data/3001) Note: The following speech was written by Chris Moore of Ogilvy & Mather to help liven up what can be a bland topic. While it has been edited by the AEF and contains basic information about topics we have found to be of interest to students, you will want to use your own words and examples where possible.

I'm here to talk about ethics in advertising. No, this isn't going to be "The shortest lecture ever given." People in advertising spend a lot of their time dealing with ethical choices, and those choices are almost never black and white. They're subtle, shades-of-gray choices, juicy enough for a Philosophy major. Let's start with the truth. Telling the truth seems like a pretty basic ethical standard. The world's best example of truth in advertising may be a tiny "Help Wanted" ad that appeared in the London papers in 1900: "Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success. Ernest Shackleton." Englishmen being what they are, the ad drew an overwhelming response. And Shackleton's Polar expedition turned out to be far, far worse than his bleak copy promised - a rare case of an advertisement over-delivering on its claims. Now let's look at a more subtle shade of truth in this infamous Volvo commercial. In a real-life monster truck show, the Volvo was the only car left uncrushed - a great idea for a commercial! But to make the ad, the film company needed to shoot several takes. So they reinforced the beams inside the car to stand repeated squashing. When this came out in the press, Volvo was pilloried and their ad agency got fired, ultimately going out of business. Did it serve them right? Or was it a bum rap? No question the demo was rigged. But what it showed was the truth: if a monster truck runs over you once, you're safer in the Volvo. An ethical brainteaser we deal with every day is: "What can you legitimately simulate to illustrate the truth?" Before you answer "nothing!", ask yourself if a Higher Purpose would be served if Pampers and Kotex commercials showed the real thing instead of that fake blue water. Ads for reputable companies almost never lie. They have to be able to prove what they say to their own corporate counsel, the ad agency's lawyers, the network's approval committees and to any number of regulating bodies like the FDA and the FTC. With at least five different government agencies looking over our shoulder, the cost of being caught cheating is simply too high. In addition, the individuals inside a company want to be able to look at themselves in the

This new Coke was provably much better. When you go on a job interview or a first date. But different people react differently. you don't assume a false identity . like human beings. The Coca-Cola Company invented a better product. That's what makes it interesting. But this commercial received over 2. really doesn't want to make people mad. For a company trying to sell something. but they sure brighten up a grotto. Chances are you keep your lactose intolerance and foot odor issues in the background. No consumer product had ever been so thoroughly tested with so many consumers. this ad stayed dead! A lot of people question the ethics of selling consumers things they don't need .saw an ad that gave false hope. but remember that most of them are you a few years from now. Because a lot of what they loved about "real" Coke wasn't inside the bottle. Why did so many of us bring bottled water . Some of us saw an uplifting message of hope. an ad is like getting a job interview with millions of people all at once.000 complaints. You can tell the ad agency really enjoyed creating the horror movie spoof with an Olympic runner. and save your Federation Starfleet uniform for later in the relationship .many of them with disabilities . And big events like the Super Bowl or the Olympics make advertisers bolder. Cause-related marketing . Like lawyers. Some like to think of business people as belonging to some other species. Still others . But consumers not only didn't buy it. it's likely to polarize your audience. among other things. Years ago. when carrying a canteen of tap water is so much more« rational? Advertising.that we paid for .if there IS a later.which presupposes that we shouldn't have the things we don't need but want anyway. This Nike commercial ran during the 2000 Olympics. We don't need 90% of the stuff in our apartments. Neanderthals didn't need cave paintings. lives where Reason meets Desire. our job is to put our clients in the best light. Advertising isn't just about the things we buy.into this meeting room today. What did you see? It's an axiom in advertising that when you do something bold. It's about how we feel about things.but you probably don't make a full disclosure either. Some saw a cynical company manipulating people's hope to make a buck. The ad wants to make a good first impression and really. Nike heard them and killed the spot and unlike Freddie Kruger. they demonstrated against it. So we tell the truth -.but not always the Whole Truth. millions of people saw the following commercial for Christopher Reeve walking again. During the 2000 Super Bowl. We don't need artwork. It was the idea of Coke and their experiences with it and how those experiences were connected to so much of what we imagine life in America should be like.mirror. including ourselves.

got over $1. Many say. Now the space in which tobacco can be promoted in any form is growing more restricted every day. Ad agencies and individual advertising people make their own decisions about categories like tobacco and guns. Does that make them more ethical? And although there's the same amount of the same chemical in a can of Bud and a shot of Jack Daniels. It's why American Express put on the Tribeca Film Festival in lower Manhattan to help bring people back to the area after September 11th. It's a malt beverage. including anti-smoking messages. . it's the brand name on the bottle (Smirnoff Ice). Ad folk like to work pro bono for nonprofits and good causes. But would you turn down the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese assignment because another division of the same corporation makes Marlboros? That's a tougher question. What decision would you have made? Tobacco Advertising Ronald Reagan once appeared in ads touting the health benefits of a cigarette brand. Johnson & Johnson . Public service campaigns. Wal-Mart focuses on community efforts of their associates and stores. Alcohol There are hundreds of beer commercials on the air. the company spent over a million dollars to advertise their good deed to American audiences. Times have changed. A rival company says this commercial is misleading you because there's no vodka in Smirnoff Ice. But do they make rational sense? The Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) probably don't make the same distinction between beer and bourbon that advertisers do. you don't see hard liquor advertised on television. General Mills' "Spoonfuls of Hope" campaign features Lance Armstrong promoting cancer research. And tobacco isn't the only legal .has been running a campaign to help promote nursing as a career: Does the extra business and good will these companies stand to gain compromise the good that the causes do? What are the ethics of enlightened self-interest? Not long ago a major advertiser donated a quarter-million dollars in food aid to Bosnians in the wake of the war there.Speaking of feelings. Two thirds of us say we'd be inclined to switch to a brand that we identify with a good cause. advertisers themselves have made these "ethical" choices. "No. 80% of Americans say they feel better about companies that are aligned with social issues. what do you think of? . advertising people working for free because they believe in the cause create MADD's ads. but not one of them shows somebody actually drinking the beer.always at the top of polls as a socially responsible company -. Altogether. In the case of alcohol. When I say the word "Smirnoff". By all accounts. not to mention public policy questions for us. the aid did a lot of good. The ethical issue isn't the alcohol in the product. Incidentally. thanks" to working on certain businesses. they'd be the fifth largest advertiser.and potentially lethal .'re not alone.5 billion dollars in free media last year.product that poses ethical.

That's good. there are ethical choices to make about what kind of product demonstration is appropriate. only a doctor could tell you about a new medicine. If you were the Creative Director on the Trojans account. Are you being fooled here? And if you thought Smirnoff Ice contained vodka. Advertisers spend most of their waking hours trying to anticipate what their audiences will want and how they'll react.Does the name "Smirnoff" mean "vodka" or is it just a name? Many of you are in the target audience. On behalf of Society. is that an ethical issue? Do you show the real truth and take the consequences? Children Society imposes context on advertising ethics all the time . ever. Pharmaceutical advertising Information is ethically neutral. The Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). let a child leave the group unattended.which brings us to advertising about prescription drugs. Studies show that drug ads raise awareness of some conditions so more people seek treatment. right? . you didn't know if it was the only one in the world or one of dozens that did pretty much the same thing. Tobacco and Firearms). the truth about where all those condoms are really going raises some touchy issues. can you see what's wrong with this message? The problem isn't something in the spot . Not long ago. And they know more about their options before seeing the doctor. You probably never heard of it before you walked in. Because even though the biggest market probably lies outside the Marital Bed. we welcome more information because the marketplace of ideas enables individuals to form their own judgments . So L'Oreal changed the commercial to model good parental behavior. We try our best. Another commercial for Aim toothpaste showed a child who went to the bathroom in a museum to brush her teeth. Condoms I assume these are not unfamiliar to you. Advertising puts more information in people's hands. There is no adult supervision shown around the swimming pool.especially in advertising that involves children. Here's a commercial for children's shampoo. it had to be taken off the air when teachers complained that they'd's what's missing. As we speak. requires that adults be shown supervising children when products or activities could be risky. but sometimes we miss. Even where condom ads are okay. it's being examined by the ATF (Federal Bureau of Alcohol. Score one for Society. Should they be advertised? Most networks won't accept condom ads because they might offend certain audiences. Now advertisers spend millions of dollars telling you about their medicines. And in what context? One example of context is that people in condom ads usually wear wedding rings. which also monitors kid's programming. did you also think it contained ice? You don't have to take time from your studies to decide this case. Good hygiene or not. In an academic setting like this.

In the theatre we have no way of knowing whether the director chose those cars because they fulfilled his artistic vision . If you go out to a club tonight. If you're curious. And the people are what advertisers call "aspirational" because they're way cooler than you are. maybe they've taken your picture and they'll be happy to show you the phone and let you try it. Then invite people in your Psych department to find the subliminal messages in your ad. subliminal advertising is one of those "urban legends. the hero and the bad guy are going to need some kind of car to drive. This kind of "product placement" happens in real life.or because the car manufacturer made a deal with the producer. Take a photograph of a glass of ice water or the beverage of your choice and make a fake ad out of it. But the difference between something that's just a prop and something that's a product promotion is getting murkier all the time. With this cell phone. but the scene in the club is pure theater. Made-up brands break the spell because they're obvious fakes. imagine what the pros on Madison Avenue can do. Volvo's demonstration was rigged. the demonstration is the absolute truth. too. They're people you want to be. you don't any more because I embedded a convincing subliminal denial in this talk. But if you don't ask. but it comes with a heavy dose of Point-ofView. no question. if you promote the benefits of your medicine. They promote the big moneymakers. with the result that the drug turned into a national joke! Does more information elevate the national dialogue? Product placement What are the ethics of advertising that doesn't look like advertising? In a movie chase scene. they won't lie. If you ask them directly if they are actors. The car people get exciting exposure for their brand and she saves a nice piece of change on her production budget. The phone is very cool. you must also reveal any significant risks or side effects." Try this experiment. Audiences like realism in movies. (Note: This new "guerrilla" marketing campaign for Sony Ericsson has received a great deal of negative publicity already for being deceptive in its approach. If you believe subliminal advertising exists. Their job is creating the impression that using this phone is The Next Trend. .But of course the drug companies don't advertise their cheapest products. The FDA requires that. The medicine worked miracles. but what viewers saw on TV was the truth. They won't disappoint you. So we have them to thank for the now legendary disclaimer for a weight-loss drug.want to come and meet him?" Fun stuff like that. Sometimes there are two points of view in the same commercial. but the company was also obliged to mention it's unpleasant side effects. They're also actors and this is a gig for them. you might see some particularly good-looking young people using a new kind of cell phone. If a bunch of students can create subliminal messages. This is the reverse of the Volvo story. they won't tell.) Subliminal advertising There's one more thing I know you want me to talk about. There's more information out there. In case you missed it. It lets them shoot pictures of people to their friends across the room: "Here's a cute guy . on TV shows as well as movies.

Advertising may attempt to educate you or entertain you. the ultimate goal is always to sell you. The question is this: are these strategies ethical? Do companies have an obligation to tell the truth or does the goal of selling the product override such ethical concerns? Advertising Strategies When marketing a product. Ethics in Advertising An Overview of Marketing Tactics and the Ethical Implications (http://christine-scivicque. Here are a just few of the more popular ones: y y y y y y Celebrity endorsements ± using well known people to promote their product Product comparison ± showing how their product is superior to another Price comparison ± showing how their product is a better deal than another Selling a dream or lifestyle ± showing how their product will make your dreams come true Selling with sex ± showing how their product will make you popular with the opposite sex Selling sentiment . That gives us thousands or millions of chances to practice what we believe every day.xchng Advertisers employ many different strategies to sell products. or don' Is Advertising Unethical? . For example. if you gave it some thought and wrote it down. it¶s only natural that advertisers would resort to all kinds of slippery tactics as a way of getting you motivated to buy. 80% of American companies have a written Code of Ethics.suite101. but beneath it all. Ethics happen.connecting their product to cherished emotions Obviously. even millions.stock. Advertisers are in the business of communicating with thousands. many businesses will work hard to create a brand image. That¶s their job. when using the strategy of ³selling a lifestyle´. And try to get it right. to get you to purchase. It¶s no secret that advertisements are supposed to persuade you to buy a product. advertisers will use several methods to get you interested and ultimately. some strategies have the ability to be more subjective than others. That image may be associated with . And probably 100% of you do too.CONCLUSION This wouldn't be a talk about ethics in advertising without a word from our sponsor and here it comes. of "others" all the time. in our relationships with others. Discover what some of them are and learn the ethical questions that arise from the use of such tactics. So.

it goes without saying that consumers must be skeptical of advertising. When selling a product with that brand.gcgf. lifestyle. It uses desire to lure people into the purchase. Creating that desire is a task that requires a certain amount of illusion. publications. . Ethical questions abound when considering modern advertising techniques: y y y y What Corporate Governance Access best http://christine-scivicque. they are always building a fantasy ± one in which the consumer¶s life is better because of the product. or success. It may not necessarily have anything to do with the real value or quality of the product itself. The customer is simply buying the name and the concepts that go along with it. does a company have for honestly educating the consumer about its product? Should advertisers be allowed to suggest that a product will make a person more sexy/interesting/beautiful/successful/etc? Is it ethical to use celebrities to sell products they probably don¶t even use themselves? Is it the buyer¶s responsibility to be aware of these strategies and not allow them to manipulate their emotions? While there is no cut and dry answer to these questions. No matter what strategy they use. However. advertisers will then focus on selling that image. Advertisers must create a scenario that heightens the consumer¶s emotional state.suite101. and toolkits www.status. Is it therefore ethical to sell the image instead of the product? Is it truthful? Ads by Google Forex Affiliate Program Earn 500$ Perday Online Support Highest Commission Join Now! www. Read more at Suite101: Ethics in Advertising: An Overview of Marketing Tactics and the Ethical Implications | Ethical Concerns Advertising typically plays upon emotions. if any. owning that product will likely not truly change the reality of the consumer¶s status.HYaffiliates. Understanding the techniques used is a good way to start considering the impact of advertising.