Essay Sample on Ethical Issues in Advertising

Published: 2023-04-13
Essay Sample on Ethical Issues in Advertising
Type of paper:  Research proposal
Categories:  Advertising Ethical dilemma Public relations Customer service
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 647 words
6 min read

Advertising focuses on society, and thus it is bound to affect the public in numerous ways. As such, the public is concerned with how advertisements get undertaken and the effects they carry on the targeted population. Advertising gets judged on the grounds of deception, levels of manipulation, and adopted ill taste against consumers' own will. Persuasiveness levels employed in advertisements significant impact on the target population's value system. Consumers get deceived when the benefits professed are below their expectations. Advertisements are not to get distorted; neither should they conceal material facts; they are to offer an accurate representation of the benefits attached to the product, costs, and the offer. Below are two examples of bad and good advertising campaigns for Yeti Pale Ale.

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Bad Example: Misleading Claims

The advertisement entails a heavily pregnant woman holding up a glass of Yeti Pale Ale. The advertisement gets designed for roadside billboards. The woman is in a bikini and heavily pregnant holding up a beer glass, and the caption "girls with big bellies are sexy." Thus, the advertisement will showcase a pregnant woman holding up a glass of beer and the statement that big bellies for women are sexy. Marketers through advertising seem to be utilizing advertising tacks, where they take advantage of less-educated individuals. The less educated would not understand the risks associated with consuming alcohol while pregnant making the advertisement unethical.

The beer advertisement is misleading by adopting unethical approaches in running advertisements (Danciu, 2014). It is common knowledge that beer is not healthy for pregnant women; it can have detrimental effects on the unborn child. Even in incidences where the beer is said to be non-alcoholic, it is still hard to accept the advertisement since beer is meant to be alcoholic. The advertisement fails to make the targeted population feel there is value in whatever is getting advertised. It, therefore, lacks an understanding of their surroundings; women are working to keep healthy and even undertake workouts to make their waistlines small. However, the beer advertisement offers misleading information that big bellies are sexy. Therefore, Yeti Pale Ale adopts an unethical approach in running their beer advertisement, hoping to convince pregnant women to drink beer and unfit women that they are healthy and sexy.

Good Example: Ethical Ad

The Yeti Pale Ale beer advertisement runs, "Drink Yeti Pale Ale, fewer calories, and carbs" and a disclaimer "Excessive alcohol consumption can be harmful to your health, Alcohol is not to be sold to persons under the age of 18." The Yeti Pale Ale advertisement gets considered ethical when it informs on the health benefits held by the beer by mentioning its low levels of calories and carbs. The Yeti Pale Ale advertisement offers information that too much alcohol is harmful to an individual's health. As such, the advertisement is keen to differentiate facts from fiction, averting harmful stereotypes that can affect children.

According to Schuster and Neill (2017), ethical ads play a critical role in shaping societies via education. By adopting an ethical approach to advertising, Yeti Pale Ale can show its product values that suit the customer's needs. The advertisement bears a moral stand, offering the customer the free will of spending their money on their product or withholding it. Yeti Pale Ale has followed up on its moral, ethical, and legal obligation to declare health claims held by the products, and thus they state the levels of calories and carbs in their beer. Besides, they issue the health warning that too much alcohol intake can be harmful to one's health.


Danciu, V. (2014). Manipulative marketing: persuasion and manipulation of the consumer through advertising. Theoretical and Applied Economics, 21(2), 591.

Schauster, E., & Neill, M. (2017). Have the ethics changed? An examination of ethics in advertising and public relations agencies. Journal of Media Ethics, 32(1), 45-60.

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