Youth attitudes towards advertisements depicting nudity and alcohol: ethical dilemmas in advertising

13 Sep 2018

Ethical issues are complex and manifest themselves in all aspects of humanity, including business. Advertising ethics are essentially concerned with issues of morality and the moral conduct of advertisers (marketers/advertising professionals). This study is primarily concerned with ethical issues in advertising. Ethics play a definite role, yet there is a lack of clarity on what is ethical and what is unethical when it comes to advertising. This creates dilemmas for professionals who design advertisement campaigns. Specifically, the study examines how the youth are influenced by or respond to advertisements that depict nudity and alcohol. The study reveals that alcoholic and nudity appeals are often used in advertising. Both young men and women are the primary focus and objects in advertisements, with appeals that catch youths' attention in advertisements; usually without much brand recognition. It was found that the youth have different reactions towards these advertisements and are influenced by their context. The youth have differing degrees of negative attitudes towards advertisements depicting nudity and alcoholism. With careful consideration and planning, it is possible for advertisers to find a common ground and use advertisements without offending people in the process. Recommendations to managers and advertising professionals as well as future research gaps on the use of advertisements and ethics are presented.