Within the world of marketing, there has been a lot of focus on "deceptive marketing". Where advertisers have been misinforming consumers about their products and services. Within Machan's paper there has been discussion about "suppressio veri", which means suppression of the truth. The idea is that salesmen and businessmen are unethical as they "fail to tell their customers that they are not getting full value for their money". And so they are suppressing the truth from their customers. Personally, I believe that advertisers are in no way obliged to giving full information to potential consumers. As long as advertisers are truthful with the information provided. The main aim behind advertising is to raise awareness of a product by letting the consumers know about it. It is not necessary that adverts need to include product defects or specific information about how the price has been set considerably higher than elsewhere. Machan's paper helps strengthen my arguments by discussing how "people often enough advance a biased perspective on themselves, their skills, looks, and so on". When applying for a job, candidates provide their strongest, most interesting information in order to increase the likelihood of obtaining the job. It is no different that advertisers provide their most interesting information as oppose to any issues related to the product or service on offer. This is so they attract consumers "obtain the job", which in this case is obtaining a sale. If job interviewees are expected to bring forward their best qualities then it is not wrong for advertisers to do the same when providing information.
on the other hand if merchants suppress the truth that there are cheaper products available elsewhere they are not wrong for doing so. It is assumed that when purchasing a product the customer has done their own personal research on other products and options available. Therefore they are making any purchase based of research and their own knowledge. Machan's paper discusses how customers may feel disrespected if merchants volunteer information that customers should already be knowing. Machan goes on to say "a merchant might be meddling in matters not properly his own, which could be demeaning". This proves that by providing additional information merchants may be insulting their potential customers by assuming they have no knowledge and by not volunteering complete information, merchants are not wrong for being respectful in this manner and therefore have no obligation to tell the whole truth, as long as they are not lying.
Once again, i think the amount of information advertisers may choose to disclose is entirely up to them and they are not wrong for providing as little information as they like.
In contrast, Roger Crisp focuses his paper on how certain types of advertising is morally wrong. he goes on to argue how persuasive advertising strips consumers of their autonomous desires. Informative adverts are usually raising awareness and so they facilitate the desire-making process as oppose to overriding it. For instance, the example he provides is an advert for a sale on clothes. "I may rush down to my local store and purchase a jacket I like". This is an example of how informative adverts help as it facilitates an individual's desire-making process since he or she wanted that kind of jacket and is now aware of where they can purchase it. He states that persuasive advertising is morally wrong because it takes away free choice. Desires may be so covert that individuals are not aware of the manipulation caused by persuasive advertisements. Consumers are not aware that adverts are subconciously making up the minds of consumers with persuasive techniques such as attractive colors or misleading promotions. Crisp uses the term "subliminal suggestion", which means the consumers mind is affected by these persuasive advertisements and they are not aware of it.
And I will provide possible arguments against ideas stated within this paper and clearly show my standpoint, which is that Machan's paper follows up with my views more strongly than that of Crisp's.
Autonomous desire could be searching for a new look for the sake of the new look. An example could be hair dye for men. An advert may show a man who supposedly uses hair dye that covers up all the grey hair and so is perceived as a man that can get all the girls. Firstly, Crisp argues that this type of advert may be misleading as it claims that using this specific hair dye suddenly puts an individual in a position of power where he can get women's attention. And so causing desire for such products by creating links to secondary desires such as power or sex. Crisp's arguments for autonomous desire makes sense however there is no problem if an advert such as this creates hope for individuals as it may boost certain individuals confidence levels. In this case there would be no problem with the first notion of autonomous desire. Although the hair dye may seem to be more effective within the advert as oppose to its real life use, it will still have more of a positive impact on consumers as they will appear to look younger. The second order desire created from this may not be the initial desire consumers have however it is not wrong for consumers to desire sex or power. To some, sex and power can indicate high levels of fame or success, which again is not a problem.
The purpose of this essay was to argue that advertisers are not obligated to disclose full information to consumers and also, by disclosing little to no information advertisers are in no way wrong. Machan's paper helped to strengthen my views as it discussed how advertisers are not responsible for consumers and that suppressing the truth is not a wrong thing as long as the information provided is not untrue.
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