Ethics in advertising? People exposed only to stereotypical bamboozlers portrayed in the media may scoff, but marketing professionals take their ethics very seriously—none more so than Pinstripe Marketing. To illustrate the point, Pinstripe President Ginger Reichl recently made sure she was among the first people in the U.S. to receive Advertising Ethics Certification.
The American Advertising Federation (AAF), the Institute for Advertising Ethics (IAE) and AAF – Tampa Bay collaborated to offer Ethics in Advertising—a half day course to “help business leaders and marketing professionals better understand and resolve ethical issues in the real world of advertising.” The Tampa Bay presentation served as a pilot for additional course offerings in other cities across the country. Since the October 25th course in Tampa, the Ethics in Advertising class has been convened for the Austin, TX and Cincinnati, OH markets.
The course agenda covers such topics as: why ethical behavior is important to the consumer and to the advertising professional; ethical dilemmas in the workplace, and in the creation and dissemination of advertising; role playing; and discussion of how to encourage others to practice enhanced advertising ethics.
“We have always been committed to working in a professional and ethical manner,” said Reichl. “This course presented several challenging dilemmas that agencies like ours face all the time. While our purpose is to serve our clients, ultimately we must serve the public that consume our messages.”
IAE Principles and Practices of Advertising
- Advertising, public relations, marketing communications, news, and editorial all share a common objective of truth and high ethical standards in serving the public.
- Advertising, public relations, and all marketing communications professionals have an obligation to exercise the highest personal ethics in the creation and dissemination of commercial information to consumers.
- Advertisers should clearly distinguish advertising, public relations and corporate communications from news and editorial content and entertainment, both online and offline.
- Advertisers should clearly disclose all material conditions, such as payment or receipt of a free product, affecting endorsements in social and traditional channels, as well as the identity of endorsers, all in the interest of full disclosure and transparency.
- Advertisers should treat consumers fairly based on the nature of the audience to whom the ads are directed and the nature of the product or service advertised.
- Advertisers should never compromise consumers’ personal privacy in marketing communications, and their choices as to whether to participate in providing their information should be transparent and easily made.
- Advertisers should follow federal, state and local advertising laws, and cooperate with industry self-regulatory programs for the resolution of advertising practices.
- Advertisers and their agencies, and online and offline media, should discuss privately potential ethical concerns, and members of the team creating ads should be given permission to express internally their ethical concerns.