What's Wrong with Computer-Generated Images of Perfection in Advertising?

Journal of Business Ethics 45 (3):257 - 268 (2003)
Abstract
Advertisers often use computers to create fantastic images. Generally, these are perfectly harmless images that are used for comic or dramatic effect. Sometimes, however, they are problematic human images that I call computer-generated images of perfection. Advertisers create these images by using computer technology to remove unwanted traits from models or to generate entire human bodies. They are images that portray ideal human beauty, bodies, or looks. In this paper, I argue that the use of such images is unethical. I begin by explaining the common objections against advertising and by demonstrating how critics might argue that those objections apply to computer-generated images of perfection. Along the way, I demonstrate an ethically significant difference between computer-generated images of perfection and the images in ordinary ads. I argue that although critics might use this fact to apply the common objections to the use of computer-generated images of perfection, the objections fail. Finally, I argue that despite surviving the common objections, the use of computer-generated images of perfection is subject to an ethical objection that is based on aesthetic considerations. Advertisers are ethically obligated to avoid certain aesthetic results that are produced by computer-generated images of perfection.
Keywords advertising  aesthetic results  autonomy  coercion  computer-generated images  deception  obligation  perfection  unwanted traits  virtual realities
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1024155629554
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,224
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Ethics of Global Internet, Community and Fame Addiction.Chong Ju Choi & Ron Berger - 2009 - Journal of Business Ethics 85 (2):193-200.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Why Images?Megan Delehanty - 2010 - Medicine Studies 2 (3):161-173.
Foundation of Computational Visualistics.Jörg R. J. Schirra - 2005 - Deutscher Universitätsverlag.
Visual Bioethics.Paul Lauritzen - 2008 - American Journal of Bioethics 8 (12):50 – 56.
Identifying and Reconciling Two Images of “Man”.David Hodgson - 2012 - Humana.Mente - Journal of Philosophical Studies 21.
Human Origins and Human Nature.James A. Marcum - 2009 - Faith and Philosophy 26 (5):566-570.
How to Understand Nano Images.Roger Strand - 2009 - Techne 13 (3):182-189.
Displacements—Beyond the Coloniality of Images.Alejandro A. Vallega - 2011 - Research in Phenomenology 41 (2):206-227.
The Ontological Status of Mental Images.Robert N. Audi - 1978 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 21 (1-4):348-61.
Added to PP index
2011-05-29

Total downloads
44 ( #121,388 of 2,192,041 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #145,325 of 2,192,041 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature