Morality in Advertising
Advertising – An Overview
Advertising is the method used by businesses, companies and other organizations to promote their goods and services to the public. The ultimate aim of advertising is to increase sales by showing these goods and services in a positive light. Advertising is designed to make an impression on its audience. Liberalization has empowered advertising and has completely changed the Indian advertising scenario. Sometimes an ad only has a few moments to grab the audience’s attention before they turn the page, change the channel, drive past or click onto a new screen. Some of the most successful advertising campaigns involve catchphrases or slogans that have become so ingrained in the community’s consciousness that they are almost as well known as the products themselves. The purpose of advertising may also be to reassure employees or shareholders that a company is viable or successful. Advertising messages are usually paid for by sponsors and viewed via various traditional media; including mass media such as newspaper, magazines, television commercial, radio advertisement, outdoor advertising or direct mail; or new media such as websites and text messages. The major areas touched by advertising are FMCG’s food market, cosmetics etc. Internationally, the largest ("big four") advertising conglomerates are Interpublic, Omnicom, Publicis and WPP. Ogilvy and Mather, J. Walter Thompson, BBDO, Lintas, McCann-Ericsson and Leo Burnett have successfully made a mark in the Indian market. In 2010, spending on advertising was estimated at more than $300 billion in the United States and $500 billion worldwide. Of all the major perspectives by which people construe the world, advertising is at once among the most influential and the least examined.
Advertising is like the two sides of a coin. Sometimes it may seem that advertisements send out the wrong message or impel people to buy certain products. On the other hand, advertising can be perceived as a means to sell a product or a service which can improve by competition.
Virtually any medium can be used for advertising.
Print Advertising - Newspapers, Magazines, Brochures, Fliers Outdoor Advertising - Billboards, Kiosks, Trade-shows and Events Broadcast Advertising - Television, Radio and the Internet
Covert Advertising - Advertising in Movies
Surrogate Advertising - Advertising Indirectly
Public Service Advertising - Advertising for Social Causes
Advertisements saturate our social lives. We participate, daily, in deciphering advertising images and messages….Yet, because ads are so pervasive and our reading of them so routine, we tend to take for granted the deep social assumptions embedded in advertisements. We do not ordinarily recognize advertising as a sphere of ideology. Much of the literature written on advertising ethics by philosophers focuses on “Truth of Advertising” – puffing, disclosure, and other such issues. My concern here is quite different. I am interested in exploring the moral effects of advertising on individuals in society – particularly how advertising affects the desires and inclinations of individuals, and then, whether that influence has any moral ramifications. Should advertisers simply follow the dictum “buyer beware” – and maintain no responsibilities for the effects of advertisement so long as they are not outright lying? Or should advertisers take partial responsibility for the effects of their advertisements upon the moral compass of consumers? If advertisement does change the sentiments and affections of individuals, and if moral action is dependent in part upon maintaining particular sentiments and affections, then it would seem that advertising does in fact play a role in the development or unraveling of an individual’s capacities to act morally, and so cannot claim to be an amoral practice.
MYTH OF SOVEREIGN SELF IN MARKETING THEORY: ADVERTISERS IN DENIAL...
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