In modern community, every behavior need be covered by rules or laws. In general, public laws and rules can control people’s behaviors and avoid issues occur. Advertisements also need laws and regulations determine what its can or cannot do. However, not every issue is covered by a rule. Marketers must often make decisions regarding appropriate and responsible actions on the basis of ethical considerations rather than on hat is legal or within industry guidelines (Belch, p731).
According to variety of advertisement, I collect three typical examples of advertisements that are ethically questionable. One of the major complaints against advertising is that many ads are misleading or untruthful and deceive consumers (Belch, p733). As the example of untruthful advertisement, I find Nestle. Nestle is one of biggest multinational food and beverage companies around the world. As the infant formula producer, Nestle marketed their product as a breast milk replacement in developing countries. According to the article about Nestle milk issue, the author mentions the New Internationalist published an exposé on Nestlé's marketing practices in 1973, "Babies Mean Business," which described how the company got Third World mothers hooked on baby formula (Krasny, 2012). They used the motivation that consumers who believe infant formula could give baby better nutrition, and the purpose of third world women yearned for westernization to promote their products could substitute breast milk.
Furthermore, relationship between advertising and children also need society to notice. Children issue always is an sensitive topic in advertisement and media market. Children are group of people who easily influenced by media and promotion. Therefore, advertisers must deal with the issue of advertising to children. Here is an example of Walmart’s Geo Girl cosmetics line especially for age 8 to 12. This cosmetics line promotes eco-friendly products for children’s health. However, using make-up products to young is not positive to children’s mental health. Studies show that girls are susceptible to body image issues and developing low self-esteem, as well as being confronted with issues about dating and sex at younger and younger ages. The NYU Child Study Center (NYUCSC) reports that girls' self esteem peaks when they are about 9 years old and then declines steeply (Newell, 2011). While Geo Girl is not first cosmetics line to be marketed to teens, these products that will make tweens early maturing need be consider to unethical promotion.
The final example will appear is sexual appeals. Sexual appeals that be used in advertising always be critical to public. He advertising appeals that have received the most criticism for being in poor taste are those using sexual appeals such as suggestiveness or nudity (Belch, p735). A common criticism of sexual appeals is use sex objects to attract consumer’s attentions. Like the ads of Abercrombie & Fitch are known by using sexy models to promote their products. In some special festivals like Black Friday, Abercrombie & Fitch show their muscular men models at outside of the store to attract people shop in their store. In 2003, thousands of Americans threatened to boycott the store, causing it to stop selling the cataloge for a time (Roger, 2012).
(Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/13-brands-that-use-sex-to-sell-their-products-2012-2?op=1 )
Belch, G., & Belch, M. (2012). Advertising and promotion: An integrated marketing communications perspective. (9th ed.). McGraw Hill Education.
Jill Krasny (Jun 25, 2012). Every Parent Should Know The Scandalous History Of Infant Formula. From Business Insider website. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/nestles-infant-formula-scandal-2012-6?op=1#ixzz2yH8t6BIS
Andrea Newell (Jan 31, 2011). Walmart’s Geo Girl: Eco-friendly Cosmetics for 8- to 12-year-olds. From Triple Pundit website. Retrieved from http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/01/geo-girl-eco-friendly-cosmetics-tweens/