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I was fishing today with my son, he was using a net to fish out tiny ones, he kept saying "come on fishy fishes, if you know what's good for you, come here fishy .."
me (mock serious sound)- liar, lying to the poor fishes
son - No, I'm doing them a favor, I'll send them to heaven early!
me (amused voice) - but it's still a lie, right?
son (in an annoyed voice) - nooooo I'm not lying, I'm advertising
Now that's a fresh perspective on advertising.
I couldn't argue, the guy has point!
Now come on fishy fishes, click on those ads, we'll send you to heaven a little earlier!
What you don't know is . . . THIS WORKS
Good to know this little guy can run my sites better than I do!
Where do you draw the line between clever advertising & lying?
an Ad title that reads "We can cure Aids"
and on page content says "If you donate here for medical research .."
This Ad is not lying and lying
It is for a noble cause
Yet it is misleading for holding back on the full truth and showing only part of it.
It will draw clicks from the people most likely to donate
But is it ethical or honest?
Is it 'lying'?
But it is not about human nature alone,
ethical and honest is a business decision too
plugged into most advertising networks' terms of service
and the ad business is now a mature business
very competitive, and creativity is in high demand
If my only measure of success is results
even for a noble cause not just profit
I suspect there will be lines crossed
My questions is: Were the lines crossed in the example above?
In advertising, I ask three questions; how well does it work? Is it legal? How is it going to affect PR? Morality does not fit in on that equation. Any additional questions would only distract from the bottom line.
Anyway I don't agree, but that's why our promotion is slow and steady and will never be "number one." But you don't have to be number one to do well. Ethics plays a big part in all the advertising schemes I work with. We don't rise as fast or furious, but we feel good about the Elevation. :-)
Advertising and ethics/honesty are like water and oil
Advertising is not special in the conflict between the bottom line and ethical behavior, every aspect of our life carries this conflict, it is always easier to build on top of what's in another person's pocket than one's own resources alone.
An advertising company's responsibilities are primary for achieving their client's targets once they accept to take the job, this is where I think the line can be blurred and the message could become misleading.
If an advertising company only takes on jobs they believe in, they will go broke, if the advertisers themselves stick to too many ethical restrictions, they will fall behind their completion, the exception to both being very large advertisers and advertising companies, but the playground for the rest is full of grey areas.
Maybe this is why advertising has an unethical association, too many small players that can't afford the luxury of ethics and need to give higher priority to the bottom line to grow or even survive.
Either it's the second year anniversary or I've managed to travel into the future
DOH! Well. There is more here than meets the eye . . . it was also my dreaded b-day, I hate b-days, and by habit tend to subtract at least a year or two. Or five. Or avoid the topic completely. I must have slopped my subconscious subtraction over to greenleaves' date. At any rate it's past, it's done, WHEW, thank goodness that's over. :-(
The reason I feel they are oil and water is because I look at it this way: I know people are misserable, and to sell a product I must make people think they will be happy if they buy my product (which I KNOW won't make them happy)
If I was going to be honest and moral, I would not tell them that the best thing they can do is BUY.
However, I feel the same way about advertisers as I do lawyers. Most products (with the exeption of alcohol/tabaco/gambling/anything else that is adictive) just like defendants deserve fair and just treatment by the system, so that the public decides who surfaces and who sinks. Of course this concept is by no means fool proof, but it is the best alternative when cosidering the other options.
And for the record, I feel a deep respect to whover can mix advertising and morality and still be successful, because I can't.
I can Fly > If I had wings
I can be president > If I get your votes
I can end world hunger > If I was rich enough
I can cure Aids > If I have your donations
I can send you to heaven early > If you swim into my net
Now on the ethics front that is a different matter
If the UN is the one advertising it would be OK, right?
I am not making a statement here, I am just stirring the pot.