Towards a new paradigm in the ethics of women's advertising

Journal of Business Ethics 33 (4):323 - 337 (2001)
This paper identifies the ethical issues involved with women's advertising, and argues that ads can be successful in generating sales without portraying women as things or as mere sex objects, and without perpetuating various weakness stereotypes. A paradigm shift in advertising appears to be at hand. This new model replaces images of women as submissive or constantly in a need of alteration, with a move to reinstate beauty as a natural thing, not an unattainable ideal. This paper also reviews general ethical issues of the advertising industry, including: (1) that advertising equates the pursuit of material gain with human happiness; (2) that advertising pushes its own values, artificial or false as they may be, as to what is "good" for the consumer; (3) that advertising plays on physical appetites and the body; (4) that advertising strives to bypass rational thinking, by desensitizing the viewer and playing on group dynamics.
Keywords Philosophy   Ethics   Business Education   Economic Growth   Management
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M. Hyman (2009). Responsible Ads: A Workable Ideal. Journal of Business Ethics 87 (2):199-210.

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