Unit 7 Discussion Topic: Advertising Dreams
Does advertising create desires that people did not previously have before seeing what a company is offering, or does it tap into pre-existing desires? If companies build advertising upon dreams or even create those dreams, is it unethical if it causes consumer stakeholders to pursue those dreams to their own detriment (i.e., overspending, credit card debt, hoarding, etc.)? Is advertising ethical as long as all of a company’s advertising statements are true, or is there something more to determining the ethics of advertising?
Q1) Advertising not only taps into pre-existing desires of people but also creates desires that people did not previously have before seeing what a firm is offering. Consumer needs are fulfilled by variety of products but firms create and advertise innovative products which the consumers might not be aware of. These products are above the basic needs and usually tap luxury and additional needs of the people.
Q2) It is completely ethical for firms to build advertising upon their dreams or even creating those dreams as it provides wide range of products for the consumers, introduces new products that help consumers fulfill their needs in a more convenient way etc. Note very consumer is aware of his/her needs in future and that is where firms and their advertising helps in identifying and fulfilling these needs.
Q3) Ethics of advertising depends on how the firm is projecting its products or services. Puffery is ethical whereas false advertising is unethical. Many companies use puffery to exaggerate a product’s usefulness to grab consumers’ attention whereas few companies do false claims that might negatively impact the health and wealth of the consumers.