Offer, presentation, campaign, advertisement, sales promotion, public relations, etc. are the trends of advertisement and marketing communications. There is nothing wrong in these types of communication unless they do not portray a wrong image, convey unethical message or harm the reputation of an individual/firm.
Issues related to advertisement and marketing communications are largely categorized as −
Let us discuss each of them in detail −
Ethical issues involve the ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ It is moral conduct related to advertisement and marketing communications. For example −
Puffing − If someone sells his products by using vague or exaggerated messages, which are literally wrong, then this is morally not acceptable. For example, a motorcycle seller claims that his motorcycle’s mileage is 90km/liter and practically that motorcycle gives only 65km/liter.
Deception − If a seller makes you believe something, which does not exist in reality to sell his products is deception. For example, in advertisement, it is shown that buy one get one free, but once you approach the shop, you come to know that the item is pretty expensive and the free item is useless.
Advertising to Children − Children are the easiest prey for sellers these days, which leads to child-parent conflict and sometimes there are chances that children take a wrong stance.
Advertisement of Controversial Products − In some of the countries including India, advertisement of products such as tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and even gambling is not allowed. It is not only unethical, but also illegal.
Social Issues involve the following points −
Predatory Pricing − Offering lower price by the multinational companies, it is unsocial because it can wipe out the local products and create employment in the country.
Surrogate Ad − Advertising the banned product in subtle means, e.g., advertisement of alcohol, cigarette, etc. in India where ad of these products are banned.
False and Misleading Ad − Comparing with the rivals. More often you see in the magazine and newspaper, some of the companies such as car companies, electronic gadget companies, etc., give detailed comparison, and show their product is the best. Further, they also give experts’ opinion to show their superiority.
Intrusive Promotions − Persuasive and unwanted messages sending on common men’s cell phone. Further, unwanted calls on your cell phone, etc., are the big social issues.
Post-purchase Dissonance − To sale the products, companies promise everything, but once you purchased and encounter issue, the respective seller is reluctant to entertain you.
Copyright, Trademark violations − Copying others content, design, name, etc., are the common legal issues.
Morally, socially, and legally, all these issues are not acceptable and a great nuisance of the society. Governing and regulatory body must look into the matter to wipe out these issues sincerely.