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Advertising Ethics

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Yi Ming Lee

on 28 November 2013

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Transcript of Advertising Ethics

Advertising Ethics
Watching Over Advertising
Critical Issues in Advertising
Advertising, and Its Political Role and Future
Commercial Alert Limits Excessive Commercialism
highlights that cross-promotion between Hollywood studios and fast-food companies not only help movie studios make money and reach audiences that traditional advertising cannot reach, also help to penetrate the culture
challenges specific marketing tactics such as product placements woven into stories written for children.
monitor the role of advertising in democracy by limiting the amount of corporate influence on publicly elected government bodies and strengthening noncommercial culture
FTC Takes on Puffery and Deception
Play investigative role in substantiating the false and misleading claims of advertisers
Permit a certain amount of
-ads featuring hyperbole and exaggeration e.g. "new and improved"
Takes on deceptive ads that mislead reasonable consumers based on statements in the ad or because they omit information
Requires advertisers to change or remove deceptive ads from circulation
Impose monetary civil penalties for consumers
Occasionally requires an advertiser to run spots to correct the deceptive ads
The negative implications of tobacco, alcohol and prescription drugs on health have evoked criticisms on advertisements of these substances.
We are not sure on whether advertising has directly increased the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs, and directly contributed to those substance-related diseases, or death.
Hence, advertisements of these substances has to be constantly reviewed and monitored
Ability to create consumer made it the central economic support system for mass media industries
Saturates the cultural landscapes by supplying pervasive and persuasive strategies
Its ubiquity raises questions about our privacy and the ease with which companies can gather date on our consumer habits
Political Advertising
Political consultants use market research and advertising techniques to promote candidate's image and persuade the public to adopt a particular viewpoint
Only well-funded candidates can afford the expensive infomercial
TV broadcasters earned huge amount of profits from political ads
May not necessarily convey serious information on political issues in brief spot, may undermine citizens' confidence in electoral process and may not ensure that alternative political voices which are not well-funded receive hearing
The Future of Advertising
Attitudes toward advertising could have made advertising's unchecked growth possible (despite cultural feedback is often critical of advertising's pervasiveness and the spending on US advertising declined in 2009)
e.g. tolerate advertising as "necessary evil" for maintaining the economy, dismiss ads as not believable and trivial to monitor or reform
suggest the need to increase critical vigilance
Alcohol Ads
cartoon-like animal characters were used to appeal to young viewers
Maintain brand's premium status by referencing fashion, artists and contemporary music
Beer industry targets on college students, employ them to help "create brand awareness"
associate alcohol with positive values like power, romance, sexual prowess, or athletic skill.
Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Drugs Ads
tremendous growth brings potential for false and misleading claim
brief ads do not adequately communicate the risks and complications of the medications being advertised
Tobacco multinationals shifted focus to Asia market because they see this potential market as staggering and women are beginning to develop the habit, and majority of the smokers are unaware that smoking causes lung cancer.
Chinese women associate smoking with slimness, feminism and independence
Practice "brand-strecting"-linking logos to car racing events, youth festivals, concerts, TV shows and popular cafes.
Extend brand to watches, backpack, etc that encourage children to smoke in exchange for those merchandise
High price increased Western cigarettes prestige and made it middle-class aspiration
Tobacco Ads
Non-profit organizations like Commercial Alert, Better Business Bureau and the National Consumers League monitor the
excesses of commercialism
false and deceptive ads
, in compensation for the shortcomings of Federal Trade Commission(FTC) and other government agencies.
Monitoring Advertising
Alternative Voices
Established a nonprofit organization to counteract tobacco marketing and reduce youth tobacco use
E.g. during the national youth smoking prevention campaign, "Truth" ads were created to deconstruct the images that have long been associated with cigarette ads
TV and print ads also reference the campaign website which provides facts about addiction and tobacco money
Mass media would need to reinvent itself without ads. However, we should remain critical of the overemphasis on commercial acquisitions and images of material success, and the difference between those who can afford to live comfortably in a commercialized society and thsoe who cannot.
Question 1:
Should TV Advertisements on substances like alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs be entirely prohibited?
Are these regulations against commercialized and deceptive advertisements effective in protecting the audiences?

Are the audiences passive or active recipients of advertising?
Question 2;
Question 3:
What is the relation(s) of advertising to materialism?

What is the effect(s) of ads on our lives in the past and present?
Full transcript