General

Ethics in Business (Part 3)

Eniola Fapohunda Written by Eniola Fapohunda · 1 min read >

Manipulative Advertising: Manipulations use outside influences to get people to buy a product or service. They use the “carrots and sticks” model of behavior reinforcement. While manipulations may produce short-term gains, they don’t create long-term loyalty

Beware of the underlisted examples of manipulative advertising;

  • “Lose weight without diet or exercise;” all you’ll really lose is money.
  • “Just take a pill,” which conveniently “forgets” to mention that the Food and Drug Administration recommends fat absorption pills only if they’re taken in tandem with a low-calorie, low-fat diet.
  • “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days,” which doubles health experts’ advice about safe weight loss.
  • “Lose weight no matter how much you eat of your favourite foods,” a manipulative claim that sidesteps the issue of making smart food choices.
  • “Lose weight permanently; never diet again.” This claim is so manipulative that it’s almost worth dreaming about.

So, to give the three (3) types of Unethical Advertising more perspective, I made research on the examples of each of the types.

  • Two (2) Misleading Advertising
  • Two (2) Deceptive Advertising
  • Two (2) Manipulative Advertising

MISLEADING ADVERTISING 

  1. PowerBar

The PowerBar brand is claiming it is packed with protein for “performance energy” but in reality, this product contains high amounts of sugar and fructose, which eaten continuously can produce visceral fat in the human body. This is definitely not something you’d want to be eating if that information was in bold on the front of the bar.

These examples provide proof that many companies will do almost anything, even if that means false or misleading advertising, to interest customers and basically fool them into wanting to purchase their product. This is a way that these brands make money, by hoodwinking the general population.

  • Hyundai and KIA over-advertised its cars’ horsepower.

A 2001 Tiburon sport coupe. Hyundai

Hyundai agreed to pay more than $85 million in a settlement in 2004, after it overstated the horsepower of cars imported to the US, according to Consumer Affairs. The class action lawsuit was on behalf of around 840,000 people who bought the 1996 to 2002 models of the Hyundai Elentra sedans and the Tiburon sport coupes.

In 2001, the Korean Ministry of Construction and Transportation had uncovered the misrepresentation, which, for some models, overstated horsepower by 10%. 

The class action lawsuit was brought in southern California in September 2002. After it was settled in 2004, Hyundai sent letters offering prepaid debit cards to affected owners. They were worth up to $225.

DECEPTIVE ADVERTISING

  • DURACELL BATTERY (Last Forever)

Duracell and Proctor & Gamble Co. are the subject of a recent lawsuit filed in California alleging the companies engaged in a deceptive marketing scheme that mislead consumers as to the batter life of Duracell Ultra Advanced batteries and Duracell Ultra Power batteries.

Reference

  1. Manipulative Advertising; https://www.shortform.com/blog/manipulative-advertising/
  2. Misleading Marketing in the Food Industry. Understanding Today’s Agriculture;https://sites.udel.edu/understand-de-ag/2019/11/04/misleading-marketing-in-the-food-industry/#:~:text=Lastly%2C%20there%20is%20the%20PowerBar,fat%20in%20the%20human%20body.
  3. Hyundai and KIA over-advertised its cars’ horsepower: 18 false advertising scandals that cost some brands millions. Business Insider; 18 False Advertising Scandals (businessinsider.com)
  4. DURACELL BATTERY (Last Forever):   Duracell Batteries False Advertising Lawsuit | Leading National Law Firm. Gilmanlawllp.com; https://gilmanlawllp.com/consumer-protection/duracell-batteries-mislead-consumers/

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