Essay on Ethical Issues Related to Advertising

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1149 Words
Date:  2022-06-27


Advertising is a form of marketing that employs communication strategies aimed at drawing the attention of the buyer towards a selected item thereby increasing sales. With the advent of technology, organizations use tactics in which they reach a broad group of prospect customers through cable television and electrical screen displays. More so, the prevalence of the internet and its connection to many people aids organizations with an effective platform through high traffic flow platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, twitter, and Instagram for advertising their products. Coupled together, internet and technological advancements provide with both native and convenient advertising and a multitude of customer viewing these advertisements. However, the advent of these components leaves the advertising companies with ethical questions on how to do the ads. Most importantly, the advertising that organizations engage in should fall within social and moral guidelines to preserve the vulnerability of children. Children are the most sought after by advertisements since they have a higher potential purchasing power as related to adults. Children are greatly influenced by what they view in social network advertisements and end up making decisions according to what the advertisements recommend. Therefore, social media advertising should be a concern in grounds of ensuring that it meets ethical guidelines.

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

In ethically social network advertising, food is shown as a video compilation of recipes that an individual can watch and make a meal of their liking. This model of advertising aims at educating the general public and most importantly chefs and cooks on how to make a variety of meals. Different from this, Instagram food is made up of meals that can be obtained rather than prepared or cooked. Appearance on a teenager's timeline signals attendance to the venue, that the child ate the food and that they live the kind of life indicated in their timelines. Instagram food transforms the indulgence of a meal from a physical activity into a status performance signaling privileged circumstances and nature which is the life of celebrities that children want so much to identify with.

Food vendors use influential women Instagramers that picture high-calorie food on an everyday basis to market their foodstuff. Most importantly and intriguing, the women posting the food on their timeline are not captured eating of the food. Consuming Instagram food implies acquiring it and sharing proof of acquisition. The enticed children audience of the shapely, attractive women have a false notion of whatever food is photographed is calorie-free which, is only a visual binge (Kelly, Vandevijvere, Freeman & Jenkin, 2015). Children believe that eating such food will give them a body similar to those advertising them and lift their social status. Contrary to this belief, it causes obesity and severe health problems when children consume the food. The advertising is a contradiction of a woman eating over-the-top meals imaginable and never gains weight, an irresistible fantasy that goes against the basic working of the body that I believe increase sales of the specific food at the expense of the children's.

In addition, advertisements of products meant to be used by adults are all over social media. Such marketing becomes a hindrance to the development of children that access them causing moral decay. Advertisements on alcohol consumption are one of the unethical marketing that children come across in social media platforms and cable tv programs. The advertising is linked with popular programs that children supposedly like watching. Such an advertisement is of Guinness beer during football matches. On moral grounds, I differ with the eligibility of the advert. The advert is aired for up to three times during the game highlighting the false advantages of drinking the beer. The ad involves a team of children playing football better against a middle-aged squad and after scoring the Guinness ad is aired. Most importantly, the "made of black. Made of more" statement gives the notion to African American children of superiority. When teenagers that love football engages with the advert, they feel that if they start consuming the Guinness beer, it will give them a myriad of possibilities over their peers. Contrast opinion argues that the ad's statement aids in boosting the self-esteem of African American people. As much as this is true, I feel the incorporation of children footballers in marketing the beer goes against moral values.

Children though non-workers have a high purchasing power as they can convince parents to buy items and services for their use. Also, teenagers can exploit the finances that a family holds on things that are not beneficial to them as opposed to adults who only buy a product to satisfy a specific need. Moreover, in the societal setup, some parents buy products for their children to avoid social deprivation from other children that may be possessing the products. Thus, children are an easy target for products by companies through advertising. Henceforth, organizations troop on social media incorporating smart and over-the-board practices trying to outshine the other. Whereas these practices aim at increasing sales, when children come across them they emulate some of the behavior showcased and leads to undesirable effects such as alcohol and drug abuse, impulse buying, and obesity (Boyland & Whalen, 2015).

A more critical problem is when children try to be like models captured in the advertisements. The models possess physical features that youths would want. Such products are body enhancements pills that promise to give a perfect body shape to girls and enhanced features in boys. The advert involves thin, attractive women with enhanced body parts purportedly acquired through the use of herbal products. Young girls buy such products to obtain such bodies. Boys too, purchase products that would give them athlete bodies without the tedious workouts. However, these products are not medically proven to provide such abilities and cause harm to the user in the long run.


As much as an advertisement is beneficial to an organization, its use should be regulated. It is important to note that a considerable percentage of teenagers have smartphones and access to the internet and thus engage with advertisements posted on these social sites. Therefore, ads should be done parallel to moral principles. Announcements should be structured in ways that they do not strike the emotions of teenagers possibly changing their characters. Additionally, adverts that threaten the ethical comportment shouldn't be aired and removed at the sense of causing moral decay. Mostly, advertisements have more influence on what children are inclined to as opposed to parental guidance. Therefore, ads should be made on pressing issues affecting children such as teenage pregnancy, alcohol and drugs abuse, school performance, gang involvements, and early marriages.


Boyland, E. J., & Whalen, R. (2015). Food advertising to children and its effects on diet: review of recent prevalence and impact data. Pediatric diabetes, 16(5), 331-337.

Kelly, B., Vandevijvere, S., Freeman, B., & Jenkin, G. (2015). New media but same old tricks: food marketing to children in the digital age. Current obesity reports, 4(1), 37-45.

Cite this page

Essay on Ethical Issues Related to Advertising. (2022, Jun 27). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism