Jadesola Aboderin Written by Jadesola Aboderin · 1 min read >

Ethics are the moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conduct of an activity. The pervasive presence of advertising is one of the most characteristic features of modern consumer society. Advertising is an integral part of a business. It helps promote the firm’s products and services. It persuades the consumers to patronize the company’s products or services. The definition of advertisement is the means of communication in which a product, brand, or service is promoted to a viewership in order to attract interest, engagement, and sales. The principle that governs the advertising process or activity is called Ethical Advertising.


  • Increasing brand & product awareness.
  • Gives the organization a competitive advantage
  • Attract potential customers/target market
  • It helps to improve your brand’s image
  • Advertising leads to Increasing Sales Volume & ROI
  • It helps to educate the public.


Truthfulness is the quality of being honest and not containing or telling any lies. It is the propensity of information to be correct. It is unethical to choose to pursue the objective of inducing a mistaken belief in another human being, irrespective of whether this is achieved by saying something that is false in itself, or by saying something that could have several meanings with the intention that the receiver of the message will be deceived.

Ethics can be applied in advertising by the following;

  • Avoid false statements: A lie told by an advertiser is as unethical as a lie told by anybody else. This can be when an advertiser promises that a certain item is available when really it is not, at least not in reasonable quantity.
  • Avoid misleading statements: An example is The Sketches advert. Here, they were sued over a commercial that suggested that just by wearing the shoes, you would automatically be working out and become fit. The Sketches was branded as false advertising and they had to pay $40 million in a class-action lawsuit.
  • Testimonials, endorsements, and recommendations: if a person who does not use the product, or who does not like it, were to offer a testimonial, this would constitute an outright lie and would certainly be unethical.
  • Puffing: this can happen when one praises a product or service in vague and general terms without referring to any specific product characteristics. For example, every advert created by Red Bull is associated with its famous slogan “Red Bull gives you wings”

Honesty is important for customers in order to create trust between a brand and a consumer, so maintaining ethics in advertising efforts will help to make the relationship stronger. By doing the right thing, brands are acting in a responsible manner towards the community and the customers they are working for. Ethical advertising also helps to respect consumers and their views. Companies that market consistently with ethical norms or expectations build a positive reputation with the public. 

 The overall sense of fairness and equity that results from ethical business practices, results in an overall improved standard of living for customers.


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