Book Review on Ethics and values in advertising T his article explores the issues involved in ethics, and evolving values in advertising by taking some of the case lets in different product categories. The article evolving social culture chances had an impact on advertising executions and issues related to the same. It is also discusses advertising social council of India (ASCI) and its role in present scenario. Twenty years back, the consumption pattern was different from what it is today. At present there is proliferation of products in the markets.
The products are now available in a wide range from multiple requirements like both soaps for dry skin & oily skin Some of the companies used catchy taglines to endorse their product viz. Example Hindustan lever’s Lux which was called “Sitaaron Ko saabun”. Similarly, other fairness products are adopting undue claims of providing fairness to the users. Clearly the fairness creams and soaps market is witnessing a fierce competition with undue claims through promotional wars. Dr. RK pandhi, Head of Dermatology AIIMS Delhi says, she never across a medical study that has substantiated such claims.
No externally applied cream can change our body color. Witch is not ethical on various fronts like using the products change in complexion and creating hype of getting break in career such as commentator and air hostess. The advertising issues ethical dimensions should take care of the limitation of the extent to which The product usage can change the complexion. The other important ethical issue is projecting women as sex symbol. For example VIP men’s undergarment ad, a man is shown with lipsticks marks all over the body. Here the ad indirectly/directly And unfairly shown women as stereo type sex symbol.
The issue under discussion here is that how far it is ethical and proper to show in irrelevant products. The ad agencies should come these problems in a better manner. The other issues are social in nature but equally important. For example the Pepsi ad wherein a child is depicted as a”Labor Boy” who is carrying drinks for cricketers. These are issues which ad agencies overlook while making the ads, perhaps due to the creative urge. but ethical responsibility holds ad agencies set the rules/norms/standards for the industry. The illustrations throw light on a gamut of issues in advertising, ranging from false-claims to subliminal ads.
To make a balance of both economics and ethical issues involved in advertising such as coping with the competition and using associating. Ethical issues include undue claims wrong information and misrepresentation effects. The basic questions which can be raised across all countries are such as the following 1. Dose advertising manipulates? 2. Degree of emotional appeals? 3. Too much over exposure of advertising privacy intrusion? 4. Creative teams of ad- agencies some times miss utilized in creative efforts? 5. Advertising to children? 6. Effects on values and life style such as materialism?
In the backdrop of the above six issues in the modern society regarding the advertising, the United Nations UNESCO organization. For example put a 16 member commission to study “the totality of communication problems in modern society”. Over different periods of time advertisements try to swing between gamut of the economic benefits like providing information about the products to the consumers, and huge employment as ad industry is itself evolving in to billion dollar industry but it has still a long way to go to answer the issues raised above form time to time.
The weightage can be put for each of the factors basing on which the company’s ad agencies can be ranked in list of total Ad agencies. This information can make corporate client choose the right ad agency. To conclude “advertising is more than advertisement alone… It is an instructional part of out society, a social force affecting and affected by our style of life”.