Chris Moore prepared a speech to talk about ethics in advertising. He explains how there is a difference between ‘pure truth and the useful truth’. A few examples he gives are, for instance, booking a flight on a plane that is advertised to be the quickest journey than the rest if you are going abroad. The actual truth about this is that they have extended the flight schedule, tricking your mind into thinking it is quicker, when in fact they have made the journey longer and lie how long you are really in the air.
Another example even I can relate to is the queue estimated waiting times for rides at a theme park. His example of Disney World show how the times are actually ‘15% slower’, meaning you are moving 15% quicker than the waiting time, making you feel a sense of happiness and comfort that it has taken quicker than you thought; this is therefore saying the truth, but not the WHOLE truth… so basically lying a little.
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He gave a few examples of ads that splurged a huge debate about them, and the reactions they got. One ad for example was of a woman in a bikini advertising beer and how ‘natural’ it is, despite her being just a bit made up herself with a guessing of a breast enlargement. Another ad from Girbaud was even banned from France and Italy for looking too much like Da Vinci’s last supper:
Chris emphasizes the point of how ads purposely go to the extremes when promoting the product, which does link to the idea of false advertisement, because they are exaggerating so much in the advert, it becomes unrealistic in the product they are trying to sell itself, as well as everything else around it. He also makes the point of how ethics in advertising is ever increasingly becoming more personal, against backing up the idea of false advertising. Because advertisements are becoming more personal to people, it can cause more reaction than they would 10+ years ago. Using the example of food advertisements, they are individually selecting certain people on some adverts, such as overweight people, or healthy people eating something unhealthy.
One of my favourite examples of a false advertisement of this is Subway. Although adverts may say it is ‘fresh’, the ingredients in a LOT of their products really are not what it says on tin. Take a look:
Chicken Breast Strips: Boneless, skinless, chicken breasts with rib meat, water, soy protein concentrate, salt, modified food starch, chicken flavor (contains salt, autolyzed yeast extract, sugar, molasses, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, sodium phosphates), and sodium phosphates.
‘Use your head and eat right’ – I quote from the advert itself. A subway sandwich is not a way of eating right judging by the ingredients used. This sort of false advertising in is huge in foods especially, tricking people into thinking that fast-foods are good for you.