Ethical principles of advertising

The emergence of new media and technologies is transforming the world of advertising and marketing, revolutionizing the way the industry conducts its business. Although there are new ways to reach consumers, it is important that advertisers (or sellers) maintain high levels of ethics and honesty.

The advertising ethics It refers to a set of well-defined ethical principles that govern the modes of communication that takes place between the seller and the buyer. It is responsible for covering ethical issues about the advertising message, the consumers the campaign is targeting, promoting the selected products and services, and the effects of advertising on social values.

Ethics is one of the most important aspects of the advertising and marketing industry. Not taking it into account can cause mistrust in messages; causing not only economic losses, but also confidence in the image of the brand. An ethical advertising campaign is one that does not lie, is not unfair, is not denigrating, is within the limits of decency, among others.

Nowadays many of the advertising campaigns are exaggerated. They generally over-emphasize the qualities of products and services, and minimize their drawbacks. Advertisers do not appear to know or understand ethical principles in advertising; they do not understand or cannot determine what is right or wrong (the good, bad, obligatory, allowed, etc.) in it.

It seems that her main interest is to increase her sales, attract more customers and increase the demand for her products through well-decorated, colorful and exaggerated campaigns. Many of these advertisers present their items and services as the best and only on the market, or as the cheapest and most beneficial compared to the competition. However, many of these ads are false and misleading to customers, making them unethical.

Ethical principles of advertising


The Institute for Advertising Ethics (IAE), administered by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) in association with the Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) and the Missouri School of Journalism of the Institute for Advertising Ethics, defines 8 ethical principles that Advertising governs:

  1. The advertising industry must maintain high ethical standards and share the goal of truth in serving the public.
  2. Advertisers are required to exercise the highest personal ethics in creating and disclosing business information to consumers.
  3. The advertising industry must clearly differentiate editorial, news and entertainment content from paid ads to avoid confusing the public.
  4. Advertisers must clearly disclose all material conditions, such as payment or receipt of a free product, that affect approvals on traditional and social channels. As well as the identity of the endorsers, all for the sake of full disclosure and transparency.
  5. Advertisers should exercise discretion and care based on the types of ads offered and the target audience. Also pay special attention to campaigns targeting children and other vulnerable audiences. We must avoid being deceived or mistreated.
  6. Advertisers must protect customers' discretion in marketing communications and be direct with them about information collection.
  7. They must also comply with the guidelines of the advertising industry and comply with local, federal and state laws that govern advertising.
  8. Advertisers should have private discussions on ethical concerns and all participating members should freely express their ideas.