Analysis of ethics and false advertisement


Ethics is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality that is, concepts such as good and bad, noble and ignoble, right and wrong, justice, and virtue.

What does ethical mean?

One of the key issues here is that ethical is such a subjective term, what is ethical to one person may not be to another. Moreover the concept of what is ethical is not fixed in stone: e.g., it used to be thought ethical to advertise cigarettes but not condoms however, these days the position has completely reversed.

The reality is that ethical is not an absolute term and the word ethics, strictly speaking, merely means the moral code by which someone decides right from wrong and is therefore highly personal.

That said, the term ethical has acquired a very specific meaning over the recent past. When we use the word ethical we mean an activity that doesn’t do harm. For example the term ethical investment fund implies that money will not be invested in companies that cause harm to people, animals or the environment.

In a sense then ethics really boils down to respect. Ethical people, ethical companies and ethical activities show respect for the world around them and are aware of the consequences of their actions upon others. Contrast the respective reputations of both Esso (Eastern States Standard Oil) and BP (British Petroleum) both of which are engaged in the same industry. Esso is currently subject to a global consumer boycott because its denial of climate change is seen to show enormous disrespect to the environment and the people of earth. BP on the other hand

Ethical Advertisement

EAS-405 has defined the ethical advertisement standard as follows:

Article# 1

Basic Principle: All the advertisement should be legal, descent and truthful.

Article# 2

Decency: Advertisements should not contain statements or visual presentations which offend prevailing standards of decency.

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Article# 3

Honesty: Advertisements should be so framed as not to abuse the trust of consumers or exploit their lack of experience or knowledge.

EAS-405 has defend 25 articles for ethical advertisement standard, every organization have to follow these rules with respect areas, regions and countries.

False Advertisement

he false advertisment which is also known as deceptive advertisment is to use some unreal or misleading statements in prodduct promtion.

As advertising has the potential to attract people to buy some goods or make transactions that without these advertisment people may not buy or even may be unaware of the availablity and benefits of these goods in the market. Most of the governments around the globe have put some rules and regulations to avoid wrong and dishonest advertisments. The honesty in what is written on labling has the same concept as that customters have the rights to be aware of what they buy,and for them all the signicant details of the product should be available on the label of the product. Some examples of false advertising are loose 20 pound in 5 days and earn Rs.10 million in a month while sitting at home.

Analysis of Ethics and False Advertising

In recent era most of the agencies are bound to obey the ethics but in nineteen or twenty centuries there were no specific rules and regulation. If we talk about ethics in advertisement, then we have always note that in cigarette’s ad there is no person smoking but only having a pack of Marlboro in his hand. Similarly in condoms ads the person wearing the wedding ring in his finger. But it would be unethical here in Pakistan if Vodka’s ad is on air. An advertisement agency can not advertise beef burger of McDonald or KFC in India and neither hot dog in Pakistan.

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False Advertisement

Methods of pricing

Concealed fees and extra charges

Usually the service provider take fees and other extra charges which are hiddin or not showed to customers in the price which is showed in advertisemt. The most common one is the activation charges of services that is for example mobile phones. It is also common in others aswell like broadband, telephony and air travel. In many situations these fees are consealed in fine print but in a few cases these fees are mystrified by unclear and ambigous terms that they are unshown and undisclosed,such hidden fees are mostly used in air travelling and airlines advertisments.

Going out of business sales

When a company wants to liquidate his company or business they go out to market putting a discount rate of 50% off on their sign boards in the city, while doubling the actual price of the product to deceive consumers that the products are cheaper while they don’t know that the products prices are doubled. Another case is when announce 50% off of the actual price due to the enforcement of law, the company announces the 50% sale but they sell on actual price and get 50% on net profit.

Someother misleading methods

Manipulation of standards

Many sellers sell their products by manipulating rules to mean something different than what it originally means; a very good example will be PC hard Disk. MB always means 1048576 bytes in CS Disk manufactures changed it metric system which means 1000000 bytes reducing the actual capacity of hard drive by 5%.

Filler and outsized packaging

Some companies and producers sell their products with fillers that is increasing the legal weight of the product with things that are cheaper and unexpensive to producer as compared to the customers thoughts about what they buy. Food is a very good example of this case, for example the meat of chicken is is mixed and injected with gumbo or sometimes even with brine up to 15% to make the weight of checken larger so that customers think that it has enough meat and pay a lot for that happily, another example will be TV dinners which are filled with gravy and some kind of sauces instead of meat and malt.

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Undefined terms

In English language there are a lot of terms which have some meaning but not only one meaning and the specific extent and level of word is not defined legally which lead to abuse, there are a lot of example of them that are organic food, light food and many more, these terms are used in a variety of ways to mean that food are low in calories, low in sugar, low in crabs, low in salt, low in thickness and even low in color. The Tobacco companies used expressions such that

  • low tar
  • light
  • ultra-light
  • mild

or natural for many years to mislead people that smoking tobacco is normal so that their products are bought by a lot of people to catch big share of the market so that they have high margin. But recently it was proved that those terms that they used in their misleading advertisment were wrong and was only a deception..

The United Egg Producers’ (Animal Care Certified) logo on egg cartoon is another example of such misleading advertisment which mis guided sustomers and user by transmitting high degree of animal care than what actually was.The Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau found the logo misleading and deceptive.


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