Topic: Advertising Dreams
Does advertising create desires that people did not
previously have before seeing what a company is offering, or does it tap into
preexisting desires? If companies build advertising upon dreams or even create
those dreams, is it unethical if it causes consumer stakeholders to pursue
those dreams to their own detriment (i.e., overspending, credit card debt,
hoarding, etc.)? Is advertising ethical as long as all of a company’s
advertising statements are true, or is there something more to determining the
ethics of advertising?
Hello professor and class,
Advertising definitely creates a desire that consumers
did not previously have for that product that a company is trying to
sell. Advertisers will go to many lengths to entice the consumer to buy
their product. Anywhere from a catchy tune that gets drilled into your
head, a famous actor or sports figure, or new and improved over the “other
guys”, an advertiser will try to lure you into buying their product.
It is not unethical if the company does not mislead
the consumers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will investigate
companies if there are consumer complaints. A consent decree can be
placed against a company’s ad that will prevent their ad from appearing if the
FTC finds it misleading or unsubstantiated. One of the greatest
advertisers in the world is McDonald’s as their catchy tunes (Two all beef
patties…) and the infamous Happy Meal have made it a mainstay in the fast food
industry. Their advertising created a need for kids to go to their
restaurants and enjoy a Happy Meal which then had a much needed toy prize that
child must have.
Advertising is not always ethical if all of a company’s
statements are true. This would be the case if the company did not disclose
information that a consumer would consider important. To me this is very
important when you have a company touting a drug that cures something, it is
true that their drug cures the ailment, but the side effects of the drug could
make the patient far worse off then if they took nothing at all. On the
other side of the coin you have advertising of that little blue pill – you know
what I’m talking about – that helps with ED and wouldn’t you know one of the
side effects is that if it lasts longer than 4 hours to go see a doctor.
Wow is all I can say to that.
Halbert, T., Ingulli, E. 2014. Law and Ethics in
the Business Environment, 8th Edition. [VitalSource Bookshelf Online].