European countries. The strategic vision of the EU consumer policy “aims to maximise consumer participation and trust in the market.

European countries. The strategic vision of the EU consumer policy “aims to maximise consumer participation and trust in the market. Built around four main objectives the European Consumer Agenda aims to increase confidence by: reinforcing consumer safety; enhancing knowledge; stepping up enforcement and securing redress; aligning consumer rights and policies to changes in society and in the economy.”19

5.2 Corporate Responsibility in Advertising Advertising is big business. Direct marketing advertising was 54.3% of the total advertising spending in 2009, while 2010 total direct marketing spending was estimated at $153.3 billion.20 Figure 5.1 shows ad dollars spent by the industry in 4th quarter 2012 over 2011, according to Nielsen.

The extent to which advertising is effective is debatable, but because consumers are so frequently exposed to ads, it is an important topic of study in business ethics. The purpose of advertising is to inform customers about products and services and to persuade them to purchase them. Deceptive advertising is against the law. A corporation’s ethical responsibility in advertising is to inform and persuade consumer stakeholders in ways that are not deceitful. This does not always happen, as the tobacco, diet, and fast food industries, for example, have shown.

Figure 5.1 Ad Dollars Spent by Selected Industry and Percentage Change Fourth Quarter 2012 over Fourth Quarter 2011

Source: Adapted from Nielsen. (March 14, 2013). U.S. ad spend increased 2% in 2012 on strong Q3. Nielsen.com. http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/newswire/2013/u-s–ad-spend-increased-2–in-2012-on-strong-3q.html.

Ethics and Advertising At issue, legally and ethically for consumers, is whether advertising is deceptive and creates or contributes to creating harm to consumers. Although advertising is supposed to provide information to consumers, a major aim is to sell products and services. As part of a selling

Weiss, Joseph W.. <i>Business Ethics : A Stakeholder and Issues Management Approach</i>, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Incorporated, 2014. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/apus/detail.action?docID=1565988. Created from apus on 2019-06-15 17:18:23.

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