TED Conversations

Chairman, Crispin Porter + Bogusky


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Do the creators of advertising have any obligation other than to drive results for clients?

Clearly, a lot of people believe that intelligent, engaging advertising is also the most effective. But it's equally clear that a lot of people don't. Just watch TV.

Most broadcast advertising is still intrusive -- the audience doesn't seek it, it seeks them. Beyond the obvious responsibility to be effective for the client, do people who make ads have any responsibility to enlighten, inform or entertain the audience?

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    May 31 2011: Within their job function their purpose is to drive results for their clients. But the people who create advertisements are also human beings, which comes with its own set of responsibilities.
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      May 31 2011: definitely. for example it is questionable whether ad makers can intentionally lie. it might not be their job to verify the claims they received from the manufacturer. but if we know they know it is a lie, we can rightfully question the ethical status of the ad makers. similarly, if they mass murder baby elephants during the making of the ad, it is their responsibility, and should face repercussions.

      however, i highly doubt that being informative, entertaining, funny, creative, original or anything of the sort is a moral necessity. i mean, come on, how many of you are? not being original or funny is perfectly acceptable behavior. you don't like it, don't watch it.
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        May 31 2011: I know this is complex but where do our responsibilities engage? Is it my responsiblity to do what is right ever? Are there fundamental places in our hearts and minds that say there may not be a law but I'm not doing this for a pay cheque?

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