An excellent advertisement will create a deep impression on TTS potential customers through particular techniques. The hallmark Of an excellent advertisement is an ethical one. What is defined as an ethical advertisement? An ethical problem in the contemporary business environment is deceptive advertising, which can mislead consumers and injure competitors. Though illegal in its most blatant forms, deceptive advertising can occur in subtle ways that are difficult to establish as outright deception, such as puffery, incomplete comparisons and implied superiority claims.
While the problem is widely recognized, research about what makes nonusers susceptible to deceptive advertising and how to prevent their being deceived by misleading messages is rare. So think self-regulation is the only way to reduce the presence of deceptive products and services being advertisements. Deceptive advertising and marketing practices have been around since the beginning of time and are still prevalent today. Sometimes it is done unknowingly by an advertiser, however, more often than not, it is done with the intent to mislead the consumer, making deceptive advertising a relevant marketing ethics issue.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
This paper will first define deceptive advertising and arresting, and describe different types of deception. Next, it will examine what makes an advertisement or marketing practice deceptive. A look into the deceptive advertising issues of the iiiВЇs as well as reviewing the monitoring agencies, and addressing liability issues and the penalties associated with deceptive advertising will also be covered. What is Deceptive Advertising and Marketing? An advertisement or marketing practice is considered deceptive if there is a “representation, omission, or practice that is likely to mislead the consumer”.
The advertisement does not necessarily have to cause actual deception, but, according to the Federal Trade Commission (ETC), the act need only likely mislead the consumer (Federal Trade Commission, 1 998 [on-line]). Types of Deceptive Advertising and Marketing According to David Gardner there are three types of deceptive advertising: Fraudulent advertising which is an outright lie; false advertising which “involves a claim-fact discrepancy”, such as not disclosing all the conditions to receive a certain promotion or price; and misleading advertising which involves a “claim-belief interaction” (Easel, 1998).
An example of claim-belief deception is the Warner-Lambert Listener case. The label on the Listener outhouse bottle stated “Kills Germs By Millions On Contact” immediately followed by ‘For General Oral Hygiene, Bad Breath, Colds, and Resultant Sore Throats”. This misled consumers to believe that by using Listener, it could prevent the common cold and sore throat (Warner Lambert, 1978). Listener had to redo its advertising and delete “scolds and resultant sore throats”. What Makes Advertising Deceptive?
According to the Federal Trade Commission (ETC), the government agency responsible for regulating and monitoring advertising practices, there are three common elements they look for in deceptive advertising and marketing lams. First, there must be “a representation, omission or practice that will likely mislead the consumer”, such as misleading price claims, or a oral or written misrepresentation of a product or service. Second, the FTC examines the misrepresentation from the view of a “reasonable” consumer or particular target group such as the elderly. And finally, “the representation, omission, or practice must be a one”.
This means that if the misrepresentation is likely to affect the consumersВЇs decision whether or not to use or purchase a certain product or service, this is considered material nice the consumer may have decided differently if not for the deceptive advertising (Federal Trade Commission, 1998 [on-line]). Oral and Written Misrepresentation or Omission LetВЇs look first at oral or written misrepresentation, or omission, which is the most common form of deceptive marketing. According to the Better Business Bureau, “an advertisement as a whole may be misleading although every sentence separately considered is literally true.
Misrepresentation may result not only from direct statements but by omitting or obscuring a material fact” (Better Business Bureau, 1 998 [on-line]). This includes “bait and switch” advertising and selling which is an alluring offer to sell a product or service in which a company has no intention to sell to the consumer. The goal of “bait and switch” is to get the consumer in the door ready to purchase one product that was advertised and then get them to switch their purchasing decision to a higher priced product or service. Vague generalities are also included in this category.
A vague generality is when an advertisement makes a vague claim. There are numerous examples of vague generalities such as “our clothes are made in the USA, our cars are fuel efficient, our frozen desserts are low in at”. According to Mary Cozenage, Commissioner of the FTC (1994), “should we assume that these claims apply to every individual item in the product line? To most or nearly all of the products in the line? Or is the message that, on average, the products have the characteristics? “. These generalities often bring up more questions than they answer for the consumer, and can be misleading and confusing.
The Example of Deceptive Advertising There are obvious forms of deceptive and unethical advertising, which are actually illegal – such as bait and switch (offering one product at a very low rice, but In an extremely limited supply to bring traffic to a store), false statements of fact, unsubstantiated claims or testimonials and misleading disclosures. This kind of deceptive advertising is pretty much the territory of shady pharmaceutical companies and amateur ‘do it yourself’ advertisers for car dealerships and grocers.
Products that claim to be “cholesterol free” are nevertheless made with highly saturated fats and many products advertised as “sugar free,” including Equal and Sweet ‘n Low, contain Dexedrine (or corn syrup), which is made of calorie- containing carbohydrates, very similar to sugar in chemical make-up. These products are not safe for diabetics and/or mold allergy sufferers. A 1992 study by the Department of Health and Human Services found that 60 percent of the pharmaceutical ads were rated poor or unreliable concerning the information they contained.
Yet there is strong evidence these ads influence doctors’ decisions about prescribing drugs. In 1 992, 150 health professionals examined 109 full-page ads for drugs in medical journals. The group found that more than 90 percent of the ads violated the Food and Drug Administration’s standards in some way. On the whole, however, advertising now is much more sophisticated. And there are other tactics that advertisers can use, puffery being one of them. Tomorrow, we will discuss another, the poison-remedy model.
False Advertising False advertising is a growing trend among businesses in our society. This trend includes directly trying to deceive consumers into thinking that they are getting something great but in reality they are getting nothing. All age groups are targeted by false advertising, it is just a matter of how consumer savvy you are. Almost all companies are guilty of this crime, including Phillip Morris Tobacco, weight loss programs, and even grocery stores just to name a few. The reason that many companies and businesses falsely inform consumers is purely for more business.
If a company feels that a product does not have high enough quality as their competitors, the company will mark down the price and maybe put the product in an eye-catching box or make up a catchy slogan. A lot of consumers can see right through this scheme, but most do not. That is how the company makes its money. For example, if a child were to go to a toy store and pick out a toy he or she would pick the first one that caught their eye. This is how companies target children. Aristotle noted the paradox that people could be entertained by the sufferings and humiliations Of others in art form, and named it catharsis.
He described it as a purifying and cleansing of the emotions, and the concept is still applied in psychology today to bring repressed feelings and fears to the conscious mind. So could reality TV actually be a vent for people’s entrenched emotions? Some would argue that reality TV is an ideal provider of raw human emotion in a realistic form (that is, the emotional relief coupled with the self-assurance of being safely separated from the trials and tribulations). On the other hand, we know that people are influenced and often imitate the behavior they see on W.
Why else would cigarette advertisements be banned in almost all forms of media? In fact, the whole advertising industry relies on the fact that people are influenced by what they hear and see. So it seems logical that programs that portray manipulative and dishonest behavior by “average” people (non-actors) would be in some sense duplicated into the viewer’s own interpersonal interactions. Another Example of Deceptive Advertising dido You Want Great-Tasting, Fat-Free Food? You should get That is this advertisingВЇs slogan. An explosion of great-tasting, fat free foods!
You probably don’t realize how many newly introduced foods are fat free and healthful. The more saturated fat you eat, the more you clog your arteries, increasing your chance of suffering a heart attack. The clogging process Starts in childhood. (Eating any fat raises your risk of many cancers. ) f you’ve tried fat-free food in the past and didn’t like it, give it another try! Companies are constantly improving quality and FLAVOR! Fat-Free & Low-Fat Margarine’s Some fat-free margarine’s taste pretty good and they’re low in calories! Give them a try!
Low-fat margarine’s are not fat-free but close. Look for tub margarine’s with only one gram of saturated fat … Two at the most. You’ll find lots of brands to choose from. You must have stick margarine, find the brand with the least saturated fat. It will have trans fatty acids (approximately as bad for you as saturated fat). These are created when oil is hydrogenated. The consensus is that the worst margarine, including the trans fatty acids, contain less of the cholesterol-raising ingredients of butter. Butter is the absolute worst, in spite of all the hoopla you’ve read.
The above brand of margarine was advertising blatant lies got caught and is no longer on the market. But, during the time that it was being sold, millions of people believed the lies. They still believe the lies, and are only upset that they can no longer get “their spread. ” while driving butter off the market thus setting society up for the multi-billion drug fraud, such as Lipton, designed to cure a fake disease. The Effect of Advertising Advertisers use a wide variety of creative approaches in appealing to target markets, some of which may be characterized as more attribute oriented, e. . Chemical expertise and scientific evidence, and others which focus more on an image or emotions, e. G. , fantasy, mood, humor, musical and lifestyle appeals. A possible result of copy orientation would be a direct effect, with attribute-oriented copy facilitating a cognitive processing style plus the ability to detect deception, and emotion-oriented copy obscuring deceptive intent. However, framing and copy orientation were found to interact. Specifically, the consumer’s frame of reference at the time of exposure created an expectation of the ad’s copy orientation.
A cognitive/affective frame of preference led consumers to expect an attribute/emotion-oriented ad. The ability to detect deception depends upon the consumer’s viewing the message with some willingness to question its veracity – a critical or skeptical approach. Expectancy discrimination (encountering a message that differs from its expected orientation) induced some questioning or skepticism, as consumers dealt with the apparent incongruity between expectation and experience. The Influence of Deceptive Advertising test talk about images for example, most advertisements for clothing (i. . Bathing suits etc), show shapely thin women and men. This has led our country to think that fat is demeaning and not socially accepted. This type of advertising has caused everyone to want to look like the people in the ads. Diets of all sorts have been developed to try to meet these expectations. But when their goals are not reached it causes depression, low self-esteem that in turn causes a poor image is developed. In my opinion these advertisements have a negative outreach. Who is to say only thin people look great? Advertisements do!
These ads also have created the rise of anorexic teenagers who have led to serious health problems and even death. Advertisements often do not explicitly urge the consumer to buy a given product; rather they promise that the products will enhance a personsВЇs life. Opening a whole range of desirability including youthfulness, attractiveness, social grace, security, success, conviviality, sex, romance and the admiration of others. Advertising can also be educational and rewarding with regards to prices and who offers the best deal. One such publication that informs consumers of the best-tested and best-priced items is Consumers Magazine.
This magazine has a test facility that tests various items of same kind without bias and reports to he consumer via there magazine. Advertising is not created and used just to provide a smug example of public morality, advertising is honest because it has to be. What I mean by honesty is the product information is not all ways how it is displayed. Lets address the issues of [email protected] we care about-, the way we raise our children, our ideas of right and wrong conduct, these in my view are all together. LetВЇs take a look at liquor and tobacco advertising. The image Of the Marlboro Man is one example.
This type of advertisement depicts a buff, handsome, cool man smoking a cigarette. What message is this conveying to our young people? That it is cool to smoke. We all know it has been proven that smoking cigarettes can cause cancer. I would now like to address all the violence, sex and bad language that is seen and heard on television and radio (i. E. Talk shows, MAT, etc. ). This type of media attracts all various kinds of people to listen and watch. While the people are entrained in the media being provided the producers throw in a commercial advertisement.
This type of advertisement causes the consumer to subliminally change they opinion of various items. Another type of media that the advertisers use is the Dance shows on televisions such as soul train. This not only is a display of immoral conduct of our young people then the television stations throw in a commercial advertisement aimed at our young people. A recent media event that was used to force advertisement on the population was when the President of the United States was going through the Monica scandal. Not only did the actions of the President display immoral conduct, which certainly sends a poor message to the people of the world.
While the public was entrained in the event the producers once again strategically placed ads in low points causing sway in public opinion on various items. IiВЇm not saying hat all advertising is negative. The media also sends out some good messages such as Bobbie cool, stay in schoolsВ??, anti-cigarette commercials that depict the health hazards and negative efforts on the family. We as the consumer in having to evaluate the good from the bad and the pros and cons of advertisement must evaluate what we truly need and what is the best product.
In making this determination we need to ensure to make a morally sound decision using good judgment and to feel good about ourselves. I agree that advertising is neither misleading and manipulative as its critics claim nor as worthwhile as effective as it advocates assert Advertising cannot exist without the consumer. Fifth consumer does not purchase the product of misleading ads this will show the companies that using this type of ad will not work. In turn the consumer will be able to get a better product or service. So what is the main objective of publicity and advertisement?
The main objective of publicity and advertisement is to sell goods and services. It is meant to inform and influence the consumer into buying the good or service. Often the product in the advertisement is compared to another, according to them, worse product. Consumers attention must be grasped in order to make them think of buying the product. Advertisement, made by companies, is meant for consumers, who, in turn, buy the product, therefore completing the circle. “Advertisement at its best is making people feel that without the product, you’re a loser. Planned obsolescence is used to meet the ongoing, new needs and wants of the population. Obsolescence means out-of-date or useless, so manufacturers create new, and more advanced products. This leads to the other role of advertisement; informing the consumers of the continuous new products coming out on the market. Deceptive Advertising – Part I – Examples of Deception The word “deceptive” is described as; Having the power or tendency to deceive. Certainly a lot of automotive advertising falls under that definition. Unfortunately the laws that are meant to protect us from being deceived are very vague and full of loop-holes.
Most automobile advertising is done through either newspapers or television. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples so you can begin to see how easy it is for these ads to deceive most consumers. Almost every car ad that you read, contains the phrase “If Qualified”. Let-s say a car dealer advertises a vehicle for $11 ,999. In the miller print of the ad, which very few people bother to read, it states that the sale price includes a $500 recent college grad rebate. In other words, most of us won-t be able to buy the car for $1 1 ,999 as advertised. O. K. , so thatВЇs not really deception.
If you happen to be a recent college grad you can get the deal, or can you? It seems that the phrase “If Qualified” is a little more flexible than that. Not all vehicles produced by a manufacturer always qualify under this program. In other words, even if you are a recent college grad, the “vehicle itself’ may not qualify for the rebate. In this case, it means that no nee can buy the car for $11,999. Now to me, that is deception! The same concept holds true with financing. An ad stating interest rates as low as 1% “if qualified”, usually means only one model may qualify, not all of the models they are advertising. 00% financing “if qualified” rules out a vast majority of consumers. Basically, if your credit rating is not-t absolute gold, donВЇt expect to get 100% financing. A recent advertising craze states that “All Credit Applications Will Be Accepted! ” Sounds great, especially if you have questionable credit. Doesn’tВЇt your mind instantaneously link the word “accepted” as “approved”? Sure it does. If it dineВЇt, they wouldn’tВЇt bother to run the ad. Anyone can “accept’ your credit application; just physically hand it to them. Having that application approved is a another story. Is this not another deception?
How about the ads that state “We’ll pay off your trade-in no matter how much you owe”. All this ad is really telling you is, that they will physically go and make the pay-off for you. They may have implied it, but they are not magically taking away any of your responsibility to an outstanding balance. In most cases what they will do is simply take any difference between the amount they give you for your read and the balance you still owe to the bank and just add it into the new loan. Deceptive Advertising “C Part II “C Disclaimers Not long ago, few car dealers advertised on television because it simply was too expensive.
Today, the small car dealer is becoming extinct. It is being replaced by giant multi-franchised dealers being referred to as “auto-malls”. These mega-dealers also have mega-buck advertising budgets and television has become their media of choice. Don’t want to leave out the automobile manufacturers. I don’t want to leave them out because they too, are guilty of using misleading advertising. Of course am not just referring to the fact that vehicles have always been advertised at a price that was missing a lot of consumer costs, such as freight, dealer prep, etc.
What I am referring to, and it is something that both automobile manufacturers and dealers use in their advertising, is what we commonly refer to as the “disclaimer”. Let me give you an example. There was a dealer who advertised on television that he would give you $4,000 for any trade that you could push, pull or drive onto his lot. He then continued to list all of the various makes and models that his multi-franchised auto-mall sold. People swarmed the dealership with their old clunkers to take advantage of this tremendous offer. What a deal! Or was it?
The disclaimer that was used in this ad was shown so fast, like most often, that virtually no one could have read it. I finally freeze-framed it on my VS. so could see what the gimmick was. What it all boiled down to was the fact that the $4,000 trade-in value was only good in conjunction with the purchase of a new “custom van”. You know, the one’s with the beds and everything. Well, since custom vans are not produced by the automobile manufacturers, but by outside companies, they do not require a “Monroe label”, the manufacturers window sticker which is governed by federal law and shows the actual M.
S. R. P. Of the vehicle. Each dealer can ask whatever they want, and in many cases, these custom vans are marked up with $8,000 profit margins and more. Based On that fact, they could have offered you $4,000 for a pencil. Of course if they did that, people might get a little suspicious, and they wouldn’t want that, would they? Another misleading use of television advertising is showing incredibly low monthly payments and not clearly disclosing the fact that the monthly moment is actually based on a lease, requires a major down payment or is simply an ad for a “like” new late model used vehicle. Loud certainly like to know who determined that a 100 word disclaimer could be flashed on a television screen for only a couple of seconds, a radio commercial could having a disclaimer read so fast it almost sounds like someone is competing to be in the Guinness World Book of Records, or that the fine print in print media can be so small that many of us need a magnifying glass to read it, and that by using any of these advertising techniques, claim that we the consumer have been properly informed. Deceptive Advertising “C Part Ill Previously, I gave you some examples of how effective misleading advertising can be accomplished.
One of the reasons that my columns will probably never appear in any major newspaper is part of the underlying problem of why these ads can be placed to start with. Simply open up almost any newspaper and it is obvious to see who contributes a hefty portion of total advertising income to that publication;.. .Car dealers. Is not the media suppose to represent “free speech’? A place where the deceptions that have talked about are revealed to consumers, not used against them through paid advertising. Am sure that they would defend themselves by stating that the ads they print are legal.
This may usually be the case, but the fact is, the ability for advertisers to use “disclaimers” has created a huge legal “gray” area. It seems that you can advertise almost anything, be as misleading as you desire, as long as you include a disclaimer. And more importantly, what good is a disclaimer that often appears too fast to be read, includes terms that most consumers don’t understand or is placed in tiny out-of-the-way print. Are these disclaimers not becoming a deception n themselves? Sometimes the problem is more complicated.
What if the fines from an “illegal” form of advertising are smaller than the potential profits? How many of us would at least consider becoming thieves if we were told that for every million dollars we stole, the fine would only be $50,000? What do we do about all of this? We certainly aren’t going to Stop buying newspapers or watching television. There is a lot that can be done, but this is not the place to discuss it. I do however go into greater depth in my book. What you should realize here is that you should not rely on advertising to hop for a car. In fact, I would simply make believe that automobile ads don’t exist.
Remember, advertisers aren’t spending millions of dollars to give you something. They are doing it to get you into their place of business, where they can “sell” you. Almost every car dealer that you’ll visit ask you numerous questions about what brought you to their place of business. Trust me, they keep a very close watch on the responses to these questions. Know, because creating customer demographics has been one of my jobs. Do us all a favor. The next time a dealer asks you if you saw one Of their ads, respond with a no”, regardless of whether or not you have.