Every week businesses make decisions that have an impact on their customers, stockholders, and employees; many have said that advertising has nothing to do with truth. In this research, a relevant article concerning truth in advertising/marketing ethically will be discussed, as will an example of an advertisement that is almost completely true-albeit with an important caveat that will be discussed in relation to the article as well. An Article Worthy of Discussion
Truth in advertising, as well as the lack of it, both has implications for the audience to whom the advertisement is focused. This topic is the focus of a pivotal article written about truth in advertising, as found in the August 11, 1997 issue of Insight on the News, written by Gene Koprowski. In his article, Koprowski focuses simultaneously on how truth in advertising could help or harm an advertiser, just as deceptive advertising could in fact give the advertiser an unfair advantage due to the false image that it projects for potential customers.
With all of this in mind, Koprowski does not write about one particular product or maker of products, but rather focuses on the products of an entire nation- in this case, products which are labeled, advertised and sold as “made in the USA”. While this sounds like a positive attribute beyond question, the possible deception arises in that there are in fact products which are not completely made in the USA; rather, the products may only contain a few parts that are made in the USA, or even worse, perhaps only the packaging or labeling of the product is in fact American made.
In this situation, the buyer is mislead into thinking that they are supporting American made goods, when in fact they may have very well been deceived to the highest degree. The point to be realized from Koprowski’s article is that advertisers can very easily put out a deceptive message which never even occurs to the unwitting buyer. This is often made possible through legal technicalities, such as vague limits on what actually qualifies as a “made in USA” product. An “Almost Completely True” Advertisement
A quick review of present-day advertisements revealed an advertisement that is almost completely true, but also, in its truth, there is a pitfall which is not adequately explained and in fact could be dangerous to the consumer. What is being referred to here is the television, radio and online advertisement for “1-800 SAFE AUTO”, the automobile insurer whose advertising boldly claims to “keep you legal for less”. While this is technically true, what is a legal amount of automobile insurance is not nearly enough to protect the insured from financial losses.
Therefore, in this case, what the advertiser does not tell the public is as important as what it does tell the public. Conclusion What has been seen in this analysis is that the grey areas in advertising may in fact be the most deceptive to the buyer; because advertisers can walk the thin ice between outright falsehoods and semi-true statements, now more than ever, as the old adage maintains, let the buyer beware. References
Koprowski, G. (1997, August 11). What’s Good for the Free Market Is Good for the USA . Right. Insight on the News, 13, 40