Olivia Memberto Receives Advertising Ethics Certification
In October of 2019, Senior Designer Olivia Memberto took an Advertising Ethics course to receive certification from the Institute of Advertising Ethics. The Executive Director of the Institute of Advertising Ethics (and 2010 Advertising Hall of Famer), Wally Snyder, instructed the course based on curriculum curated from the Institute and the American Advertising Federation.
The course covered nine principles that are at the foundation of producing ethical advertising. Olivia shares a few points that stood out to her:
The value of strong ethics is vital for your brand and the brands you represent. If you are working in-house, the brand you are creating for is your livelihood. If you work in an agency, providing the brands you represent with ethical advertising could be the key difference between keeping and losing a client, and gaining new clients.
The Big Mistake
Ethical issues arise most commonly in claims made in advertising. Claiming your diet pill will help you lose 50 pounds is a very risky and unethical claim to make as it may do that for some but may not for others. You should never ever lie to or misguide your audience when making claims on what your product can do as an advertiser. Partial truths are just as bad. Airing on the side of caution is always the best choice when it comes to claims.
A Fiscal Investment
When it comes to business practices, it should come as no surprise that advertising ethics take up most of the business ethics pie. Raise your hand if you like being lied to. Exactly. Customers and clients value transparency in business, but especially in advertising. Customers won’t hesitate to call your business out on your claims. Remember the Red Bull class action lawsuit? Yeah. Thirteen million dollars later, Red Bull regrets that campaign. This is an outrageous example, but was settled as false advertising and shows you what can happen when you make false claims. When you in invest ethical advertising, you invest in your business.
Advertising Ethics is something that people see as common sense, but you’d be surprised by the number of lawsuits major brands have faced due to false claims. Volkswagon, Kellogg, New Balance, and Olay have all faced million to billion-dollar lawsuits over false advertising, to name a few. Keeping best practices for ethical advertising top of mind is in the best interest of everyone in the advertising industry.