What are Communicators

Report
Part 1
Enduring Principles in Times of Turmoil
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What is the social impact of brand
communication?
What ethical and social responsibilities do
communicators bear?
Why and how is advertising regulated?
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Demand Creation
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Critics say advertising
creates demand, driving
consumers to buy products
unnecessarily.
Proponents say companies
invest in research to find out
what consumers want.
Audiences can refuse to buy
products they don’t need.
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Shaping versus mirroring
 Does advertising create or reflect social
values?
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Critics say advertising abuses its influence
on children and teenagers.
Critics say advertising creates social trends,
dictating how people think, act.
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Advertisers say they spot
trends and develop
messages that connect with
them.
Advertising both mirrors
and shapes values.
The poster is an example of a message aimed
at stimulating business after 9/11. Do you
think messages like these impact social trends?
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Overcommercialization

Does advertising lead people to be too materialistic?

Critics say advertising heightens expectations.

The lines between advertising, news, and
entertainment have become blurred.
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Poor taste and offensive advertising

Viewer reaction may be affected by sensitivity to:
◦
◦
◦
◦
the product category
the timing
whether the viewer is alone or with others
the context
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Poor taste and offensive advertising
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Creating guidelines is difficult because
“good taste” varies.
What is considered “offensive” changes over
time.
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Sex appeals, body image
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Advertising that portrays
people as sex objects is
considered demeaning.
Playing on consumers’
insecurities about their
appearance can lead to
dangerous practices.
Responsible advertisers
now use models of normal
size and weight to reduce
pressure on young people.
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Diversity and stereotypes
Gender stereotypes
Racial and ethnic
stereotypes
Cultural differences
in global advertising
Age-related stereotypes
Advertising to children
This ad was created by the Carson/Roberts
agency in 1964 during debate over the Civil
Rights Voting Guarantee Bill.
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Message-related issues

Misleading claims
and puffery

Comparative advertising

Endorsements and
demonstrations
Dunkin Donuts hopes to convince coffee
drinkers to switch from Starbucks based
on results from a national taste test.
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Product-related issues
 Marketers must carefully consider what they
choose to produce and advertise.

Areas of concern:
◦ Controversial products
◦ Unhealthy or dangerous products
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Ethical decisions involve complex, conflicting
forces:
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strategy vs. ethics
costs vs. ethics
effectiveness vs. ethics
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Personal and professional ethics

In a Gallup poll, advertising practitioners ranked just
above HMO managers and car salesmen.

The American Association of Advertising Agencies
publishes a code of standards.
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Ethical decision-making tools
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Codes of ethics can help guide your actions.
However, they are only broad statements, and do
not explain how to handle every situation.
You must develop a strong personal and
professional sense of right and wrong.
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Ethical decision-making tools…
The TARES Test of Ethical Advertising
Ask yourself:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Are the ad claims in the message Truthful?
Is the claim an Authentic one?
Does the ad treat the receiver with Respect?
Is there Equity between the sender and receiver?
Is the ad Socially responsible?
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Key advertising legislation
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2.
3.
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Pure Food and Drug Act (1914)
Federal Trade Commission Act (1914)
Wheeler-Lea Amendment (1938)
Lanham Act (1947)
Magnuson-Moss Warranty/FTC Improvement Act (1975)
FTC Improvement Act (1980)
The Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud Act
and Abuse Protection Act (1994)
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Trademark protection

A trademark is a brand, corporate or store name, or
a distinctive symbol identifying a seller’s brand and
differentiating it from other brands.
◦ Registering through the Trademark Office
provides exclusive use, as long as it’s for a
specific product.
◦ The Lanham Trademark Act of 1947 protects
unique trademarks from infringement.
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Copyright protection
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A copyright gives organizations exclusive rights to
use or reproduce an ad or package design, for a
period of time.
Copyright infringement occurs when a product is
used in an ad without proper permission, including
copycat ads.
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Marketing communication
and the First Amendment
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First Amendment protection extends to commercial
speech, but not on an absolute basis.

The Supreme Court permits some restrictions on
commercial speech.

Only truthful speech is protected – not misleading
or deceptive statements.
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International laws and regulations
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Legal and regulatory restrictions vary by country.
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Some countries ban ads for certain products.
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Thailand, Hungary, Hong Kong, and Malaysia have
bans on certain types of tobacco advertising.
Contests, promotions, and direct mail are illegal in
some countries.
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Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Regulates deceptive and misleading advertising,
focusing on:
◦ Unfairness
◦ Deception
◦ Violations

It also oversees advertising involving weight loss
products, children and elderly people,
telemarketing, and the entertainment industry.
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Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
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Regulatory division of the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services.
Oversees package labeling, ingredient listings,
and advertising for food and drugs.

Determines the safety and purity of foods, cosmetics.
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It is also a watchdog for drug advertising.
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Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
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Regulates radio and television broadcast
communications (media, not advertisers).
Can issue and revoke licenses, ban deceptive
messages or those in poor taste.
It responds to complaints but doesn’t initiate actions.
Works closely with FTC to eliminate false and
deceptive advertising.
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Other regulatory bodies
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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF)
Regulates deception in advertising and establishes
labeling requirements for the liquor industry.
U.S. Postal Service regulates direct mail and magazine
advertising including the areas of obscenity, lotteries,
and fraud.
The States’ Attorneys General regulate advertising at
the state level.
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The FTC and children’s advertising
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Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU)
evaluates ads directed at children under 12.
The Children’s Television Advertising Practice Act
(1990) placed ceilings on ads during TV programs.
As of 1996, all stations must air three hours per
week of educational programming.
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Regulating deception
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Deceptive advertising misleads consumers by making
false claims, failing to fully disclose important facts,
or both.
Current FTC policy contains three elements:
1. Misleading: representation, omission, practice
2. Reasonableness: “reasonable consumer”
3. Injurious: must cause material injury
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Regulating substantiation
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Does the advertiser have a reasonable basis to make a
claim about product performance?
Factors considered:
◦ Type and specificity of claim made
◦ Type of product
◦ Possible consequences
◦ Degree of reliance
◦ Type and accessibility of evidence
◦ What substantiation is reasonable
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Remedies for deception and unfair advertising
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Cease and desist orders
A process similar to court trial precedes the order.
Corrective advertising
Advertiser runs messages correcting the false
impressions.
Consumer redress
Cancel or reform contracts, refund money, return
property, pay for damages, or public notification.
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Remedies for deception and unfair advertising
A question for you…
Can the ad agency be held liable along with
advertiser?
Answer:
Yes, when the agency is an active participant in
preparing the ad and knows it is false or
deceptive.
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The media screens and rejects advertising
that violate standards of truth, good taste.
The First Amendment allows publishers
refuse to run ads.
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Self-Discipline
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Organizations develop and use their own norms
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Major advertisers and agencies utilize in-house
procedures.
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Several U.S. companies have their own codes of
behavior and criteria for acceptable advertising.
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Industry Self-Regulation
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National Advertising Review Council (NARC)
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National Advertising Division (NAD)
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National Advertising Review Board (NARB)
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Self-Regulation by Public and Community Groups
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Better Business Bureau
Advises local businesses on legal aspects of
advertising.
Consumer activist groups
◦ Action for Children’s Advertising
◦ Public Citizen
◦ Cultural Environment Movement
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