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Ethics in Advertising | Honesty | Social Responsibility | Goodwill | Health | Safety | Comparisons |

Meaning of Advertising Ethics


The blast of new media, technologies, and opportunities changing the business activity rapidly. It creates a need for ethics in advertising so that customers do not get exploited.

Advertising ethics means a set of moral principles that a company used in its daily dealings with the world at large, or with a single customer. Many businesses have gained a good reputation just by ethical in business.


To some people, businesses are for making money. Making money is not wrong in itself, but ethics must be followed for customer welfare.

Thus ethics in advertising means a set of well-defined principles that make communication between the seller and the buyer.

An ethical advertisement is that which doesnt lie, doesnt make fake or false claims. It includes honest, decent, and truthful advertising.


Principles of Ethics in Advertising

1.)  Honesty.

2.)  Social Responsibility.

3.)  Exploitation of Goodwill.

4.)  Health.

5.)  Safety of Customer Information.

6.)  Comparisons.

7.)  Children Protection.

8.)  Unsolicited Product.


1.) Honesty

The advertisement should not contain any activity which offends the rules and regulations made by the government. The advertisement should be framed in such a way that it make, not break the trust of the consumer. As it said that honesty is the best policy. The company should be honest that all the information given in the advertisement is correct.


2.) Social Responsibility

The advertisement should not include any form of discrimination based on national origin, religion, color, age, sex. etc. We all are consumers and all have equal importance in society. The company has to take care that his advertisement should not hurt anyone's sentiments.

Example - Some Beauty product ads show that beauty is everything you have no value if there is no charm on your face. If you are not beautiful, you are not accepted.

3.) Exploitation of Goodwill

The advertisement should not make use of the name, logo, and trademark of other companies. Some companies use another companies name or logo to grow fast in the market. Companies with goodwill have a strong customer base, companies that use another name or logo do not have to make an effort to create their customer base.


4.) Health

Advertisement does not include those products that create a problem for customer health. It is the company's duty that if there is any product that can create risk for customer health, then the company has to aware of the customer about the same.

Example - Insecticide killing spray also dangerous for human, so proper awareness is also provided that, how to use, how far you have to keep it while doing spray.

5.) Safety of Customer Information

When you purchase any product from a brand they collect your data to use it for future use like making aware of new products, new offers available, the opening of a new outlet, events, etc.

In the same case when you make an online purchase or visit any website they ask your personal information for sign up purposes. It's the Company duty that when they store your data it should not be shared with anyone.


6.) Comparisons 

Advertisements that are making a comparison of the product should comply with the principles of fair competition. Product comparison allows the customers to differentiate the two products and chooses the one which they like.

Example - If you are comparing your mobile with other brands and says that your product will provide Quick charging and good battery backup if it goes fail then it will be unethical

7.) Children Protection

The company has to take proper care that advertising does not mislead children as to the true size, value, nature, durability, features, etc.

Advertisement of the product should not contain any activity that has the effect of harming children, affect them mentally, morally, etc. It does not include any activity that encourages children to do things that can hurt.


8.) Unsolicited Product

Unsolicited goods are those goods that are sent to someone without being asked to the receiver. Sending Unsolicited goods is an offense.

Advertising should not be used to support the unethical activity where unsolicited products are sent who required it. If any customer gives his consent that he likes the product, no company can forcefully send the product to its doorstep and can ask for the money.


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