Possible Evils

  • Bait and switch – This tactic requires placing an ad for an item at tremendous value. Upon reaching the store, the shoppers finds that the item is “no longer available” and in order to alleviate their sorrow at missing the deal they are directed to a similar item that, while not as good of a bargain (sometimes no bargain at all) closely matches what they came in for.
  • Unnatural demands – This evil refers to creating demands for products that are not in the minds of customers. Eg. A feet relaxer or a body massager would be a perfect example which lures customers to buy the product which they never thought of.
  • Child pornography – In extreme cases, unethical advertising resulted in Child pornography as well. In 1999, when Klein launched an ad campaign for his children’s underwear line. In spite of Calvin Klein’s attempts to justify it ,the general public disagreed with numerous experts citing that these ads were pornographic because they featured high definition, sexualized images of young children. In many cases, those who were against the ads cited Klein’s previous track record as sufficient proof that these images were exploitative.
  •  “Budget-buy” fad — This is the most common evil of advertising. The seller bundles products into a basket and sells the basket at an attractive price. The customer buys it seeing it as a cost advantage. This may result in many unwanted, low-quality products finding their way into customer’s homes.
  • Adultery – This evil refers to giving false hopes to the ignorant people particularly villagers about the product.  Eg. People in some villagers bought Lux soap in the anticipation to get closer to the girl featuring on the packet.
  • Public property dilapidation – Let us say, Nike created an ad campaign of spray painting ads onto sidewalks. After all, people who are walking obviously need shoes, and they’ll want the latest from Nike, right? This cannot be considered as defacing property but simply marketing it’s products to it’s customers. But the fact still exists that they did not pay the owners of the sidewalk for using the space.
  • Flanker/parasite technology – A company Ezula has made a program that creates link ads on all webpage. They sell particular words or phrases to companies as advertising fees. This browser plug-in reads the words on the webpage being viewed and if it finds one of these words/phrases, it creates a link out of it that goes to the paying customer. For example, if the webpage you’re reading has the phrase “hotel reservations” and you have this plug-in, then it creates a link out of that phrase that points to expedia.com. This link was never wanted by the web designer. 
  • Blogs and unusual responses — The Blogs and communities on the Internet are used to advertise a product and they include the responses and personal views of the public at large. The views expressed may sometimes be considered as facts thereby hampering the decision making power of the individuals.
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