The Ethical Issue Of Advertising to Children

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The controversy that I have written about is the ethical issue in advertising to children. This has been an issue that has relentlessly been fought over as children know no better than to fall into the marketing scheme big business, thus making big business look as I they are preying upon children and their parents wallets. Advertising to children is a problem as it reinforces negative stereotypes of other people to children, it promotes poor eating habits and unhealthy foods, and it teaches negative values and morals. Looking at all of these bad consequences of advertising to children I will be viewing the issue through the lenses of a Consequentialist, a Categoricalist, and a Virtue Ethicist. 

A consequentialist view that supports advertising to children would say that at the end of the day it is not the children that are being sold to it is the parents who are the actual buyers. The parents are the ones who are not able to uphold their authority as a parent and say no to their children, thus letting the big bad marketer off the hook for manipulating children through marketing. A Consequentialist might argue that the economic gain from the advertisements would be enough to make it ethical. On the other hand it would not be farfetched to argue that the negatives of the advertising may deem the advertising tactic very unethical.

A Consequentialist view against the use of advertising to children would argue that the negative aspects of it do not exceed the financial gain. The manipulation used to persuade children is not ethical as they are selling unhealthy or opinionated material to children who know no better. A consequentialist might argue that depending on the content advertising to kids may not be all that bad, specifically the Play 60 campaign by the NFL and the United Way. The Play 60 advertising campaign urges children to get out and be active getting at least 60 minutes of active play per day, hence Play “60”. I would lean towards the view that advertising the children is unethical when it is being used improperly, Play 60 is an awesome example of advertising to children that makes a difference for the good of our youth.

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(Hines Ward accompanied by two fellow professional football players participate in Play 60. Players like these travel the United States promoting an active and healthy life style to kids through the sports and other physical activities.Photo by-Daniel Kaplan-)

A categoralist would support advertising to children as well but for reasons that are more black and white. The simple right that children have the right to receive messages and the most apparent, the right to free speech. The argument can always be made that advertising the children is really a channel to get to the parents who have the disposable income to pay for these items. With that being said than the right to free speech and the right that companies have to market their products would be enough to convince a categoralist that advertising to children is ethical and progressive in the economy. This lack of real consequence to businesses is similar to a professional or virtue ethicist who may argue that the reputation of a company is enough for them to act ethically and professionally.

A virtue ethicist’ outlook on advertising to children would be one which puts the responsibility to not be manipulative on the business through the image they portray. This outlook is much like my own as I do not think that we should control how children are advertised to but let the consequences of their manipulative behavior affect their bottom line. McDonalds is a great example of a business that dug their own hole through directly marketing fast food to kids. The ad below is one that McDonalds put out which is very obviously targeting children to buy their food for the cool toy watch that comes with the happy meal, McDonalds came under fire for this ad as their food has been proven to be very unhealthy and due to this a virtue ethicists would be pleased in the fact that their reputation took a hit due to this manipulative behavior.  McDonalds has been under siege due to their happy meals for a long time and in my opinion if the quality of their food doesn’t change the happy meal will slowly dissolve away.

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(Media literacies)

This concept of companies “digging their own grave” by being put under the spotlight for manipulative behavior is one I believe in. I believe that like a consequentialist view of the parents having some fault as they should be able to say no to their children even though the ads are directly marketed to their kids. The categoricalist view is very black and white and not exactly something that has too many supporting facts other than the fact that no laws are being broken, but with that being said the right to free speech argument is a difficult argument. Though I do agree with these views I would say that I see advertising children more like a professional virtue ethicists. The view that the public and the companies own reputation would be enough to stop manipulative marketing towards kids. Of course there should be some sort of guidelines towards the severity of the advertising but for the most part I believe that the responsibility of the parents and the pending reputation of the business should be enough to make sure that business are not being manipulative and putting children in harm’s way.

Work cited

“NFL Goes Deep with Youth Health and Fitness.” – SportsBusiness Daily. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2013.

“MDIA1001 – Media Literacies.” MDIA1001 Media Literacies RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2013.

French, Joanna. Advertising to Children. Presentation. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

 

 

Evolution of Racism in Advertising

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Racism is defined as “The poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race, the belief that some races of people are better than others” (Webster).The ethical controversy I presented to the class is that of racism and racial insensitivity in marketing and advertising. In doing so my partner and I took the class through a historical timeline of ads with a racial undertow starting in the 20’s and ending today. By looking at the evolution of racism it became easier to get the class involved in discussion as it was very provoking upfront racial content. The standards for what is considered wrong in an advertising by the International Charter is very specific and as shown all of the ads presented break this standard dramatically.  “Advertisements should not condone any form of discrimination, including that based upon race, national origin, religion, sex or age, nor should they in any way undermine human dignity. Advertisements should not (without justifiable reason) play on fear. Advertisements should not appear to condone or incite violence, or to encourage unlawful or reprehensive behavior. Advertisements should not play on superstition” (International Charter).

My presentation incorporated the views about racism in advertising through the lenses of Consequentialists, virtue ethicist, and deontologists. Due to the topic of the content being racism it is difficult to find a way to look at the ads with a positive outlook. The advertisements are crude and degrading to all races making it difficult to justify any of them regardless of how well they have done for their businesses. A consequentialist for example would tell you that lying is not good because it has negative consequences yet at the same time depending on the consequences a consequentialist may deem lying in that situation acceptable.

 That is why a consequentialist could not really have a good outlook on any of the ads shown especially the ads that were made back in the 20’s through the 50’s. Ads such as the Pears’ Soap ads which depict children getting the black washed off of them.

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Advertisements like these for soap ads which project the idea that African American people are not clean is very offensive and there would not be any situation where it would be okay for anyone to make that statement. This ad is clearly from a different era which explains its upfront racism. With that being said it was known back then that objectifying and discriminating against African American people was bad, as the Emancipation Proclamation was signed over a half a century prior. This is why these ads are horrific, not because of what is said it is the fact that people were not ignorant to the wrong they were doing yet they continued to do so. Though this ad was created way before the International charter for ethical business was written you can see now how badly it breaks the standards of ethical advertising, making the ad unethical by today’s standards. A Virtue Ethicist on the other hand may have another outlook on the advertisement.

A Virtue Ethicist looks at situations by a case by case basis, as with a consequentialist which says lying is wrong do to the consequence a virtue ethicist makes that decision upon the benefits. A virtue ethicist may argue that this ad for example is not breaking any ethical standard as it is for the better of the company is  “not really hurting anybody”.

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This is an advertisement by pop chips which is a company that got started a few years ago and has done very well thus far. The ad shows Ashton Kutcher in black face portraying a person from India with a logo of “these are the Bombay”. Both dressing Ashton Kutcher (a Caucasian man) as someone from India and making fun of the way they speak by saying that the chips are “the Bombay” is very disrespectful to people of that nationality. A virtue ethicist may argue that this ad does not directly hurt anyone as the ad is supposed to be comedic. They look a lot at the intentions of the situation and I do not believe that this ad would be considered malevolent as the intentions are not to offend but to make people laugh and to sell a product. This ad does not however follow the guidelines and standards set by the international charter as this ad discriminates upon race. According to today’s marketing standards this would be something that would be frowned upon in today’s business. A deontologist would agree with the standards of the international charter.

A deontologist would look at a situation they deem wrong without any chance of looking at the situation a different way in which could justify anything. In which case for this example a deontologist would fully support the ad as it is by no means racist even though a decent amount of this country are appalled by it.

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This ad is a television spot which shows a young girl interact with her family in a very touching way. The problem that people are having is that the people are a mixed race couple. This is something that I think would appall a deontologist as no one is being hurt or offended and the only way you would be offended is if your morals were skewed and were against the international charter. The fact that this ad is being attacked only shows the ignorance of the American consumer. In regards to the international charter this commercial passes with flying colors because if anything it is inclusive, and there is a problem with the world when steps forward against hate are still being met with ignorance and more hate.

It is nice to see that the American people are slowly starting to move away from this type of hate for other cultures. As shown through the past ads we as a society has moved forward and in the same light are not where we need to be yet. The reaction of the American people to the Cheerios commercial sickened me with comments that do not reflect the direction our society is going. After doing the research and looking into the evolution of race in advertising I am glad to live in a county that turned its ignorance into a society that is very cautious to not offend each other through our advertising. Hopefully people like those who have problems with the ads such as the cheerios TV spot learn to deal with the changing society and except it rather than hate it.

 

Work Cited

“Racism.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racism

“Virtue Ethics.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Oct. 2013. Web. 28 Oct. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtue_ethics&gt;.

“EAS-405 – Ethical Advertising Standard.” EAS-405 – Ethical Advertising Standard. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013. <http://www.icharter.org/standards/eas405/&gt;.

“Consequentialism.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/consequentialism&gt;.

“22 Shockingly Racist Ads.” Neat Designs RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013. <http://neatdesigns.net/22-shockingly-racist-ads/&gt;.

“25 Most Racist Advertisements and Commercials.” Ad Savvy RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013. <http://www.adsavvy.org/25-most-racist-advertisements-and-commercials/&gt;.

“41 Mind-Blowingly Racist Vintage Ads You Need To See.” Thought Catalog. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013. <http://thoughtcatalog.com/nico-lang/2013/09/41-mind-blowingly-racist-vintage-ads-you-need-to-see/&gt;.

“Biracial Cheerios Commercial Receives Hate-Filled Backlash.” The Hollywood Gossip. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2013.

My Journey into Country Music

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I went to a show the other weekend at the Akwesanse Casino in Upstate New York. The show that I went to the other weekend was something that I never thought that I would be going to. I went to a country show for my internship as I am doing social media and handling the accounts for Jamie Lee Thurston. Jamie Lee Thurston is a country singer who grew up in Montpelier and now lives in Tennessee pursing his music career.

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I went to the concert which was located at a casino in the middle of nowhere upstate New York which was a very interesting ride. The reason for going was to see what exactly I would be working with and to see how the other people in the company were to work with. After first getting there I was kind of tagged around a little bit due to the hectic and busy schedule of playing a live show. This taught me a lot about live music, everything is scheduled down to the minute and it is not easy to keep that tight schedule. I was invited up to Jamie Lee Thurston’s room after a a few hours of exploring the casino and seeing what that was all about. This hotel room was the executive suite which had a flat screen TV, king size bed, a buffet, and a stocked mini bar which I would only assume was complimentary. This opened my eyes to the opportunities that came with taking the job of Jamie Lee Thurston’s Media Manager which would give me the responsibility of managing of all his online content.

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This is a very big job for someone who has yet to graduate his senior year of College. After watching the show and seeing how entertaining Jamie Lee was I decided to get on board and help him go from where he is now to a national star. I am now in the process of working with Jamie on getting his music out into the web and getting followers of his music to share his work across many platforms. Overall I would say that after starting this process I have learned that Social Media and Internet advertising takes a while to catch and begin to show results. Please follow and support his music and my career!

Links:

https://twitter.com/JamieLThurston

http://jamieleethurston.com/

https://soundcloud.com/jamie-l-thurston

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jamie-Lee-Thurston/137589406326429

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What happened to Big Blue?

What happened to Big Blue?

Just what happened to the New York Giants? The once dominate team with a leader who was deemed the best fourth quarter quarterback in the league is now handing the ball off to the other team. Eli cannot seem to get enough time to do anything with the ball, I guess this spooks him enough to the point where he has to throw an interception. Where has the confidence gone in the Giants?
The running game is nothing as Wilson nor Brown can seem to hold onto the ball, bet they regret getting rid of Bradshaw right about now. The decision to bring back Brandon Jacobs was a last chance grasp at anything that wouldn’t put the ball on the ground. Bradshaw was an experienced back who could have helped these rookies learn to play in this struggling Giants defense. The offensive line is not doing anybody any favors as Eli is continuously hurried up and the holes for the running back are nearly invisible. Hopefully Big Blue can get it back together so us Giants fans can enjoy the rest of the season.