Is Deceptive Advertising Morally Wrong or Not?

In business, there lies a big difference between selling the truth and bending truth resulting into false claims. In the process ofadvertising it is important to make claims on a product that have been validated. For instance, is the product scientifically proven? Are the claims advertised guaranteed? Several notable companies in the United States have dug their own grave resulting into massive law suits by making false claims on their products.  This paper aims to determine whether deceptive is morally wrong or not.

Those who argue that deceptive advertising is morally wrong, claim that deceptive advertising destroys people financially, put the health of consumers at risk, destroys a company’s competitors and destroys the societal moral fabric as whole. Secondly, deceptive advertising is morally wrong because its perpetrators infringe upon significant moral principles such as the Golden Rule and Kant’s categorical imperative (Richards, 2013). Some of the companies that have fallen prey to deceptive advertising and paid dearly in form of lawsuits that cost millions of US dollars, include Activia Yoghurt, Airborne, and Extenze (Richards, 2013).

Individuals who support deceptive advertising argue that the benefits a seller derives from deceptive advertising significantly outweigh the consequences that come with the act. The general goal of any business lies in massive profit making (Richards, 2013). Deceptive advertising without doubt generates massive profitsfor companiesthrough increased purchase of products or servicesby enticing consumers to do so. In the long run, stakeholders reap profits from it. Employees receive more pay, and the companies continue to run businesses as usual (Richards, 2013).

Despite the claims made supporting deceptive advertising, this paper takes a stand that it is morally wrong. It is true that deceptive advertising increases the purchase of a product or service, but for how long does the act of pretence last? After consumers discover that they bought a service or product under false pretences, they are likely not to purchase it again. Deceptive advertising does not only result in the loss of financial resources, but it also destroys a company’s reputation that may take forever to revive.


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