Importance Of Ethics In Advertising

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This chapter starts by providing a background to the notions of ethics and advertising, as well as ethics in advertising, with an overview of existing stand-ards and regulatory organs of advertising.

Ethics is a notion that can be difficult to define. The word “ethics” comes from the Greek word ethikos which, in turn, comes from ethos, which means character, custom, or manners. The Oxford Dictionary states that ethics is moral principles that governs person’s behavior or the conducting of an activi-ty . The main idea is that ethics is the standards of right and wrong. But, even if most are aware that it is about questions of right and wrong, “ethics” is still dif-ficult to grasp. In spite of the numerous definitions of the word ethics, there is no universally accepted one, many scholars differ in opinion on how to define the term, but one way to put it is provided by Magee: “Philosophical reflections on how we should live, and thereby what is right or wrong, good or evil, should or should not be done, duty, and other conceptions of this kind”. It is obvious that the concept is closely intertwined with morality. Wright, Kroll and Parnell in fact suggest that ethics is “standards of conduct and moral judgment”.
German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804) meant that ethics and morals are founded on human reason, just as science is founded on reason. This led to Kant’s formulation of his famous categorical
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