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Evaluate Ethics in Advertising

The Role of Advertising in Promoting Products and Services

As an organizational leader in advertising, what role would you say the advertising your firm produces plays in promoting the products and services the organization develops? Consider the article by David Ingram in this week’s resources. In what ways would the content discussed impact how your firm approached advertising. What would you consider the ethical constraints that your firm’s advertising should observe and still be effective in generating and maintaining a business?

The Federal Trade Commission Act provided requirements for truth in advertising and allowed the FTC to provide enforcement for the provisions of the act. In light of this, advertisements in the U.S. must be truthful, not deceptive, and not unfair.

In Advertising to Children, the FTC process is a special emphasis on truth-in-advertising laws that apply to children, but Ingram believes a significant amount of unethical behavior is still allowed regarding children. For example, children might believe a toy comes fully assembled when the assembly is required.

In Advertising Harmful Products, the United States highly regulates some forms of vice, prohibits others, and allows other products a free hand. For example, alcohol is allowed on all media. In the final section, Advertising Tactics and Challenges, Ingram discusses the range of less than ethical but legal tools at the disposal of advertisers. These include subliminal advertising, emotional appeals, taking advantage of less-educated persons, and using other tactics that ethical advertisers refrain from using.

Consider recent advertisements you have seen on television from local organizations. Have you been moved from these ads to plan on considering service from the organization when the need arises? If not, what part of an ad has clearly discouraged your interest?

How important is honesty in advertising? What was it about an ad that seemed dishonest? If you were considering approaching an organization for service, would you check the organization’s rating with an agency like the Better Business Bureau? What would you hope to learn that you did not realize from the advertising?

When a consumer reviews a document of advertising by an organization,  the consumer may be inclined to take the advertising at face value. In this sense, the consumer is vulnerable unless they do additional research to verify the validity of what the advertising has stated. False advertising will violate the ethical directives in the organization's code of ethics and values, which the leaders and all employees of an organization are obligated to follow.

Write a paper about advertisements that utilize overstatements, stating where the unethical statements appear and possible consequences for a consumer. Provide examples of overstatements, and if your research supports your conclusions about overstatements or not, and why. Illustrate examples of how the advertisements could be more clearly (and truthfully, if applicable) portrayed to potential customers.

Carefully explain the seeming purpose of the overstatements (or appearances of overstatements). What are overstatements intended to do, and do they violate any state or federal law? Explain how and why overstated advertisements can be avoided with clear and honest portrayals made of company products or services.

Finally, discuss why overstated advertisements are not desirable for potential customers or the organization. What lasting damage might they stimulate?

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