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Persuasive Advertising, Ethics of

The basic definition of an advertisement is a publication, broadcast, or other form of public announcement to inform the public of a product or service and entice the use or purchase of said product or service. The second part of that definition is where persuasion is often employed. Enticing an audience to purchase a product or service goes beyond simply informing. The advertiser is attempting to make a connection with the target audience that will influence their decisions. Persuasive advertising becomes problematic when it attempts to manipulate an audience. Ethical violations occur when, in an attempt to manipulate, the message lacks complete information and/or may be a bold misrepresentation. These manipulative techniques take away the audience’s informed consent and violate their autonomy. This entry examines ...

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