The Ethics of Advertising: Do Advertisers Go Too Far?

1397 Words Jan 15th, 2007 6 Pages
The Ethics of Advertising:
Do advertisers go too far?

Advertising is any paid form of non-personal communication about an organization, good, service or idea by an identified sponsor (Berkowitz, Crane, Kerin, Hartley, & Rudelius, 494). Advertisements are displayed through various means to a large audience. They can be found on the Internet, in a magazine, or even on the highway. Advertisements are everywhere! Their main goal is to grab the consumer's attention about a specific good, service or institution. To achieve this goal, advertisers use an assortment of techniques. However, some of the techniques used are illegal, unethical, or both. To illustrate, there is an illegal trick known as "bait and switch". This
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Does this set a good example for society? Lastly, reminder advertising is used to reinforce previous knowledge of a product (Berkowitz et al., 495). This type of advertising is normally used for products that have reached the maturity stage. Reminder advertising may also be used for seasonal goods and services. One type of reminder advertising is reinforcement advertising. Reinforcement advertising may be used to assure current users that they made the right choice. There are numerous arguments about the moral values of advertising and advertising's effect on society. Advertising is sometimes viewed as manipulative. Manipulative advertising is portrayed as advertising that tries to favorably alter consumer's perceptions of the advertised product by appeals to factors other than the product's physical attributes and functional performance (Lippke, 5). Some people see this form of advertising as a necessary evil while others do not. Those for manipulative advertising, like Theodore Levitt, argue that people have deep needs for hopes, illusions and fantasies that advertising sells (Lippke, 14). Since reality is too much to bear at times, people seek products that provide them with optimistic feelings provided through the use of advertising (Lippke, 14). Without manipulative advertising, some believe that society may become more interesting since

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