Role of ethics in advertising
The presence of advanced technology and widespread use of media has led to the steady increase in the use of advertisement. Advertisement, especially on media, has become a powerful force in today’s market. It is the major channel that firms deploy to make known their presence and drive sales. Therefore, ensuring that products being marketed are authentic, regulations and standards are set to guide the advertising firms. In advertising, ethics greatly focus on the purpose and nature of the advertisement. Ethics in advertising represent values that are held to be morally right or wrong. Hence, it outlays the code of conduct and rules guiding decisions while advertising.
Ethics serve to uphold the credibility of products and services prior to consumption. Consumers will have trust in products or companies that subscribe to ethical standards. It makes it easy for a buyer to make a decision about a product being advertised with due compliance to ethical advertising. In ensuring credibility, honesty and truthfulness of representations by advertisements get realized.
It is a tool to safeguard the general public against misleading advertisements. For example, the brand, company name, and advertising agency name should be clearly stated on advertisements giving full information as contained in the packages. Moreover, advertising should protect and not endanger children’s safety or create unhealthy interest in certain practices. Children are the major target for ad selling. They pose the convincing power in regard to product purchase. Regulations exist to protect the minor from possible abuse by the advertisers and the products that may be harmful to them.
Ethics aims at guaranteeing that advertisements meet the overall acceptable standards of decency in society. Advertisement acts as a mirror that shapes the reality that it perceives to reflect. Occasionally, it exhibits a slanted image of reality. Additionally, it prevents prejudice of advertising towards a particular group whether religious, political or class.
It helps in maintaining and respecting social responsibility. The ethical code outlines specifications and penalties against violating certain social responsibility. For instance, advertising should not be in favor of lavish lifestyles that harm the ecology and the environment.
Competition is an inevitable aspect of markets. Firms do advertising to challenge the competitors and gain a competitive advantage in the market. To regulate and protect the consumers who are at the receiving end, ethics ensure that firms observe fairness while advertising. Hence, while advertising the buyers should be informed of the product choice in the market with due adherence to competitive business behavior.
Without ethical regulations, sale and purchase of potentially harmful products to people would be rampant. Ethics, help in preventing social damage through restricting advertisement of detrimental products. Moreover, it serves as a watch tool that tracks activities and products being advertised. It is the device against which all advertising weighs to fit and comply with thus, the benchmark for advertising.
Ethics serve as part of the human needs in the modern world. Amidst counterfeit products and a variety of advertising mechanisms, there is need to protect individuals from fake data and misguidance by institutions whose core goal is advertising and acquiring profits. Similar to any other field like medicine or teaching with the code of conducts, advertising is never an excuse. Without rules, the humans are prone to greed and mischief at the cost of other lives. Taming such behaviors in advertising is crucial for the good of the general public. Therefore, ethics plays a major role in ensuring advertisers comply with the standards and rules of advertising by taking into consideration all players.