75 word response to student to further the Discussion

timer Asked: Nov 28th, 2015
account_balance_wallet $5

Question description

Original Question:

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?

Student Response:

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].

Tutor Answer

Carnegie Mellon University

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