With the growth in technology, new ways of reaching consumers have emerged, and it is essential for advertisers to maintain high levels of honesty and ethics. Thus, advertising ethics means a set of specific principles that regulate the methods of communication between the buyer and the seller. In additions, advertising ethics covers ethical concerns about the advertising message, the consumers targeted by the advert, advertising of controversial products and services and the effects of advertising on social values.
Ethics is an essential aspect of the advertising industry. Even though there are numerous benefits of advertising, there are some advertising points that do not match the ethical standards of advertising. Therefore, ethical ads are the ones which do not lie, are within the limits of decency, and do not make false or fake claims.
Today, many ads are over exaggerated, and many advertisers usually puff their adverts. This makes the advertisers seem like they lack the understanding of ethical principles and norms. Most of the advertisers do not understand or are unable to determine what is correct or wrong.
Their primary interest is to increase their sales, attract more customers and increase their product’s demand through well-decorated, colorful and puffed adverts. Many advertisers like to present their product as the best and unique on the market or cheaper and more beneficial than the competitor’s product. However, many of these ads have been proven false and deceptive to customers, thus making them unethical.
The principles of advertising ethics
The following are the principles that govern advertising ethics, according to the Institute for Advertising Ethics (IAE):
- The advertising industry should maintain high ethical standards and share the objective of truth when serving the public.
- High personal ethics should be used when creating and disseminating information to people.
- The advertising industry should clearly differentiate editorial and news content from paid ads to avoid confusing the public.
- All ads should clearly reveal if the researcher has received any payment from the brand.
- Advertisers should use discretion and care depending on the types of advertisements offered and the target audience.
- Advertisers should safeguard customers’ discretion in marketing communications, and be straightforward to customers about gathering information.
- Advertisers should comply with the advertising industry guidelines as well as follow the local, federal and state laws governing advertisement.
- Advertisers should hold private discussions about ethical concerns, and all participating members should freely express their ideas.