Principles Of Ethical Advertising

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Ethical Advertising The Ethical Advertising Standard (EAS-405) states that “all advertising should be legal, decent, honest and truthful.” (International Charter, 2012) It continues by adding that all ads should be prepared with a due sense of social responsibility and that they should conform to principles of fair competition. (International Charter, 2012) EAS-405 consists of 25 articles that cover all aspects of advertising from decency and honesty to asterisks and abbreviations. Article 5 corresponds to truthful presentation. The article reads as follows: 1. Advertisements should not contain any statement or visual presentation which directly or by implication, omission, ambiguity or exaggerated claim is likely to mislead the consumer,…show more content…
official recognition or approval, awards of medals, prizes and diplomas; g. the extent of benefits for charitable causes. 2. Advertisements should not misuse research results or quotations from technical and scientific publications. Statistics should not be so presented as to exaggerate the validity of advertising claims. Scientific terms should not be used to falsely ascribe scientific validity to advertising claims. (International Charter, 2012) The FTC’s standards and EAS-405 are clearly aligned. This suggests that ethical principles in regards to advertising in both the United States and the international community are virtually the same. Commercial Speech and the First Amendment The First Amendment of the United States Constitution stipulates: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press […]”. (Cornell University Law School, n.d.) The First Amendment protects the freedom of expression: the rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the implied rights of association and belief. (Cornell University Law School,…show more content…
The level of said protection depends on the ad’s copy’s truthfulness. (Cornell University Law School, n.d.) If an ad’s claims are false, then the ad can be removed, this is one of the FTC’s roles. (Federal Trade Commission, n.d.) Spin and puffery are tools that should not be abused. While they might help create a certain image in the consumer’s mind, but in the end, spin is as good as its product. (Bachman, 2013) Is lying about a product’s attributes possible? A company might try to go down this road, although consumers will raise their voices and the authorities will pay attention. Marketers prefer to mislead rather than boldly lie because of the strong ethical objections to said practice. (International Charter, 2012) Not all products are made equal, and thus not all applicable regulations might be the same; but the baseline principles are the same: all advertisements must be truthful and non-deceptive and cannot be unfair. (Federal Trade Commission, n.d.) Companies are required to be honest with the public, their reputation and long-term survival depend on it. (Diermeier, 2011) Not even omission is acceptable. According to the FTC, omitting information that is likely to mislead a consumer is a deceptive practice. (Federal Trade Commission,

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