Advertising has a prominent role to play in modern society but it cannot ignore the ethical concerns in the element of business. Though there are authorities to judge what is right and what is wrong in advertising methods or advertising techniques the industry has rarely cared to look beyond the marketing objectives affecting their balance sheets.
Advertising is a form of communication used to help sell products and services. It communicates a message, including the name of the product or service that could potentially benefit the customer. By purchasing the product or service, the business stands to benefit.
Reasonable basis for advertising claims
You must be able to substantiate factual claims with proof before they are disseminated. You need to substantiate the claims in your advertisements by utilizing expert testimony, evidence of tests and studies. If your product is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you should also familiarize yourself with that agency’s rules and regulations regarding advertising strategies. You should be aware of what your ad may imply and review it with a lawyer who is an expert in that area.
Remove discrimination barriers
Advertisements should not contain any form of discrimination, and in particular those based upon race, religion, caste, colour, culture, sex or national origin.
Advertisements should not mislead
Nature, composition, method and date of manufacture, range of use, quantity, and origin of the item advertised should not be changed. If you advertise warranty or guarantee, you must state the terms and conditions.
Standards in factual claim
Some of the ads may be misleading because they deviate from facts. Advertisements should not misuse research results or quotations from technical and scientific publications. For example if a company says that all doctors worldwide recommend soaps like ABC and if ads claim that 4 out of 5 doctors surveyed recommend the brand, this is half truth as it was never show how many doctors had been approached.
Merchandise and price comparison
If you use words like sale, you must offer the product for that price for a reasonable period of time.
Avoiding deceptive advertising
Claiming that a product can do something which it actually cannot is a true case of deceptive advertising strategy. It is ethically wrong to show something that does not exist.
Avoiding harmful products
Products that have harmful effects such as tobacco and alcohol should not be advertised. But anti-smoking ads are given to discourage the practice. Another such example is the contraceptive pill, and this can cause harm to the female body in a long run it should not be frequently used.
Every organization believes in advertising and it has a become a major part of the business world, and no business can do without it. There are certain rules and regulations you need to follow while you advertise. Never advertise harmful products, and never mislead people. Avoid discriminatory ads. Ads should be relevant to your products, and they should not be against any person, company, country or product. If you have special offers, advertise them loudly so that customers would be interested. Consider these code of ethics before you advertise.