Ethics in Advertising

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At the heart and soul of advertising, public relations, and marketing is the sales objective. These institutions stand to sell products and services to consumerist markets on behalf of larger corporations and smaller businesses. For advertising and public relations, the tactics used to sell these products and services to consumers is use of clever manipulation, the utilization of spin, and creative persuasion in advertisements, video/news releases, and marketing campaigns. While the use of these tools greatly benefits the businesses behind these movement it remains to be seen whether advertising and public relations serves corporate interest or citizen interest. Thus the discussion of what constitutes ethical behavior in advertising and public relations fuels a clash between corporations and consumers. With any story, there’s two sides of the coin. On one side, advertising and public relations have become an integral function of our consumerist economy because it provides information to consumers regarding the products and services that attract them. In addition, advertising and PR generates competition between businesses which fuels the economy, causes growth, and benefits consumers. On the opposite side, advertising and PR can be seen as the manipulative corporate hand in the public sphere that uses aggressive sales tactics, false claims, and clouded perceptions to serve their own self-interests which in turn fragments consumers. Both sides could be argued for, but it’s up to organizations like the FTC and the IAE to guide the advertising and PR industries down an ethical path that leads to the benefit of consumers rather than as the force of manipulation. An interview with the IAE, the president of Global Advertising and Strat... ... middle of paper ... ... consumers and give advertisers an edge on reaching their target audience while segmenting markets. This raises a high-caliber ethical debate because this can be seen as infringement of personal privacy. In terms of ethics and morality, the internet is a wild frontier and it is up to society to deem what constitutes freedom of speech and where the code of ethics is placed. Works Cited Castillo, M. (2013, July 10). Artificial sweeteners could lead to obesity, diabetes. In CBS NEWS. Retrieved March 9, 2014, from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/artificial-sweeteners-could-lead-to-obesity-diabetes/ Cosgrove-Mather, Bootie. (2004, 12 03). Splenda sugar sweetener spat. CBS NEWS. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/splenda-sugar-sweetener-spat/ Snyder, W. S. (2011). Principles and Practices for Advertising Ethics. Institute for Advertising Ethics, 1-11.

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