In today’s society we are constantly being bombarded with different types of advertising, TV, radio, pop up ads, emails, print ads, billboards and there is even product placements within movies. Everywhere we look we see ads. The question is whether this is positivity affecting the audiences that are seeing them. Is ethically marketing in place when it comes to advertising?
People who are probably most affected by these advertisements are children and young adult who are more likely to be swayed by ads. Unfortunately quite often the children, teens and young adult are exposed to commercials that can negatively impact their well-being. For example young girls and women are constantly exposed to unrealistic beauty standards because of advertisements like Victoria Secret and other beauty product lines. This can cause girls to be self-conscience and have low self-esteem and in some extreme cases this causes eating disorders. Thankfully now there are some campaigns that are promoting the beauty of all shapes and sizes such as Dove. From a Utilitarian perspective Dove Real Beauty Campaign definitely benefits the largest amount of people unlike Victoria’s Secret Love My Body Campaign.
Additionally another campaign with some ethical problems was Camel cigarettes. They had a cartoon character Joe Camel as their ad spokesman that was clearly directed at under aged kids and was encouraging them to smoke. (Patterson/Wilkins 61)
Not to mention, I also find it disturbing how advertising and commercials advertise products and services that look one way in the ac but look nothing like that in reality. I think this is being false and not accurate. A good example of this is McDonalds food. In most of these examples loyalties come into play because the advertisers are more concerned about the company making a profit than being loyal to the audiences well being.
On another note, I also have a concern about things such as Google Analytics and other similar programs that allows people to see what advertisements you have looked at, when, what device you use, how old you are and your gender. Than that way they can put other ads that you might be interested in you on side advertisements. I believe that this is a breach in privacy.
Privacy “is concerned with determining who will obtain access to the information. Privacy does not require that information never reach public view, but rather who has control over that information.” (Patterson/Wilkins, 114) I think they need to rethink using some of these methods.
Advertisements can be deceiving at time but there are also campaigns that are making a difference in the world. I am a Ad/PR major I hope one day I will get the opportunity to work on a campaign such as Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign.