BA_242_Chapter_Six_-_Post - BA 242 Business Ethics Chapter...

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BA 242 – Business Ethics Chapter Six: Consumer Production and Marketing
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Advertising Ethics Multi-billion dollar industry Sometimes defined as “information”, but compare to Consumer Reports. The primary function of advertisements is to sell products to prospective buyers. It is publicly addressed to a mass audience, so it has a widespread social effect. It is also intended to create desire and a belief in consumers that the product will satisfy the desire.
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Advertising Ethics Critics point out several harmful effects: Teaches materialistic values about how to achieve happiness. Advertising is wasteful; selling costs add nothing to the utility of the product It creates desire for something that is not necessary.
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Advertising Ethics Is advertising responsible for a gradually growing economy? Ads are most successful for shifting consumption from one producer to another, not at expanding consumption generally. John Kenneth Galbraith and others argue that advertising merely manipulates consumers, creating desires solely to absorb industrial output. Physical desires are perfectly normal, but psychological desires inspired by advertising are not under the person’s control and put the firm in control. If this is correct, then advertising violates the individual’s right to choose.
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Deceptive Advertising All advertising is meant to manipulate to some degree. Some ads clearly violate the right to be treated as a free and equal human being. “Bait and Switch”, untrue paid testimonials, simulating brand names, etc.
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Deceptive Advertising How does advertising become deceptive? The author must intend to have the audience believe something false. The author must know it to be false. The author must knowingly do something to bring about this false belief.
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Deceptive Advertising An advertiser cannot be held responsible for an audience having misinterpreted a message when the misinterpretation is unintended, unforeseen, or the result of carelessness on the part of the audience. The media carrying the message also has a responsibility to ensure the truth of what it carries to the audience. Both the author and the media must take into account the interpretive skills of the audience.
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Deceptive Advertising To determine the ethical nature of an advertisement, the following points are relevant: The intended and actual social effects of the ad The informing or persuasive character of the advertisement Whether it creates irrational or injurious desires Whether the content is truthful or tends to mislead
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Advertising Ethics and Decisions From the perspective of: Utility Hurting the one for the sake of the many? Rights
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This note was uploaded on 04/24/2008 for the course B A 242 taught by Professor Mr.scheib during the Fall '08 term at Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

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BA_242_Chapter_Six_-_Post - BA 242 Business Ethics Chapter...

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