Ethics means a set of principle or rules or regulations followed by a person while doing some activity. In addition, advertising is a medium of communication from buyer to seller. Thus, ethics in advertising refers to a set of principles to follow while advertising a product, firm or a company, etc. The most important feature of any advertising industry should be its ethics i.e. the advertising unit or industry has to follow certain ethics while advertising their product. Advertising benefits, the audience in numerous ways but it has some of its influence on the public or audience, which is very unethical.
An advertisement is ethical only when it does not lie or make false claims and it should be in its limits of decency.
The main aim of the advertisers and the advertisements is to increase their sales, demand and to attract more number of customers. Due to which they make the advertisement in such a way that it attracts the customer and influence them to buy the product in the advertisement without second thought or belief. Hence, the advertisements now days are more exaggerated and presented in a standard manner. Some of the advertisers compare their product with the competitor’s product and claim themselves as the best in use, cost effective, and more beneficial. In fact, these advertisements are false representing themselves by doing such, which is completely unethical.
Ethical advertisements directly relate to the nature of advertising and the purpose of advertising. Sometimes the advertisers need to exaggerate the advertisements to prove the benefits of the product to the audience or public. For e.g. the soap, advertisement where the untidy yellow shirt turns pure white just by using the particular soap. Here the purpose behind the advertise was to inform the public audience about the quality the product gives or render to them. Although it is impossible to get a pure white shirt just by using soap but the advertisement was widely accepted. It does not mean that the advertise was unethical.
Ethics also depends on what one believes. If the advertiser makes the advertisement in such a manner that it would make the audience understand about the product, make them think, and then think on buying the product, then surely the advertisement is an ethical one. However, if the same advertisement fools the customers by showing impractical things like consuming particular dietary supplements or foods will make you like an Arnold. Then it will surely not work for them, as it is unethical.
Generally, larger firms do not lie in advertisements, as they have to prove themselves to different rules and regulations of advertisements board in the country. At such, time the advertiser do not reveal the whole truth they limit the truth and which also proves better for them. Like the advertisements relating to medicines. In such pharmacies, advertisements the advertisers talk about the benefits of medicine but they never reveal about the side effects that may occur after the consumption of the medicine.
Advertisements relating to consumptions of liquor, alcohol, cigarette, etc. should be banned as the child or the student audience may also view the advertisements and try doing the same, which is very much harmful to their health as they cause cancer and other related health issues. Advertisers should also maintain some decency they should limit the advertisements relating to condoms and contraceptive pills.
There are many such techniques or methods through which the advertisers can make their advertisements ethical. The firm can maintain a self-regulatory department of advertisements in them to advertise ethically without spoiling or damaging self’s reputation and even without affecting the social development or behavior of person or individual.