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The Guide to Doing Ethical Advertisements

Modern technology has ensured regular progression for all facets of society, most notably in the advertising industry. Advancements in this sector have led to the emergence of new ways of reaching out to target consumers.

Unfortunately, these advancements have also resulted in numerous threats. In hopes of eliminating the threat to proper business representation, the American Advertising Federation, in partnership with Reynolds Journalism Institute and the Missouri School of Journalism, has established the Institution of Advertising Ethics.

Moral Principles and Rules

As its name suggests, the Institution of Advertising Ethics is founded on a set of moral principles and rules that govern behaviour and activity in the advertising industry. Unlike the typical morals and ethics that exist in different shades of grey, the ethics of advertising act as concrete rules.

These rules are to be followed by advertising professionals, which cover a wide range that also includes project managers and local production fixers. They are made to educate on the importance of truthful, ethical advertising, which should be delivered at all times to consumers.

Only the Truth, No Exaggeration


Firms in the advertising industry should be aware of these rules to properly deliver what their clients want and need. A notable example of this is the proper usage of exaggeration to puff up a brand’s image. This entails that the public’s focus will be on the brand, but it is important to remember that all details in the advertisement must be based on truthful facts.

Below are the eight principles of advertising ethics, according to the Institution for Advertising Ethics.

  1. High ethical standards should be maintained by the advertising industry. It is important to share the objective truth when serving the people.
  2. Professionals in the advertising industry have an obligation to exercise the highest personal ethics in the creation and dissemination of information to the public.
  3. There should always be a clear distinction between editorial and news content from paid ads in order to avoid any confusion.
  4. All ads should clearly reveal if the researcher has received any payment from the business brand.
  5. Discretion and care should be used by the advertisers depending on the types of advertisements offered to certain target audiences.
  6. Firms should always safeguard their clients’ discretion in marketing communications. They should also be straightforward to clients about gathering information.
  7. Professionals in the advertising industry should comply with the guidelines set within the industry, as well as follow the local, federal, and state laws governing all advertisements.
  8. Private discussions should be made regarding ethical concerns. All participating members of the discussion should be able to freely express their ideas without fear of repercussions.

Fair Playing Field

These eight principles govern the behaviour of all the members of the advertising industry. They secure all communication lines established between the seller and consumer, which evens out the playing field between the two parties. It ensures that transparency is maintained at all times not only with agreements being made but also with the resulting messages being relayed to the public.

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