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Glenn Barres

Co-Founder, Idea Sponge, Inc.

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Should Advertising Platforms be responsible for the Ads they serve?

I see a lot of advertising platforms (i.e. Adwords, clickbank, etc) popping up these days and unfortunately I also see a lot of "unethical" ads being served. What I mean by Unethical is an ad that makes the claim of miraculous product or discovery and the landing page is some bogus funnel to capture your contact info. Another example of this that many probably have noticed are the bogus Facebook ads that have a picture of a hot attractive person in order to catch your eye, but the ad text or landing page is about something completely irrelevant to the ad image. This form of deceptive marketing isn't a new one (snake oil anyone?), but it seems to be on a rise and just adds to the increasing amount of unwanted noise.

Example of a deceptive Ad: http://i.imgur.com/HIKbF.png

So in closing, should the platforms be responsible for quality advertising they push much like the driver of a vehicle is just as guilty of an offense committed by a passenger.

Topics: business ethics
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  • Mar 5 2012: Advertising and marketing are the equivalent of pollution. We are ruining our environment (and our physical and mental health) by chasing immediate gratification.

    Advertising is a parasite. The purveyors sell it as a necessary way to bring you cheaper goods, but how many people realise that more than half the cost of a pair of trainers has paid for advertising, competition prizes, and profits for yet more middle men. Actually nothing that will help with product improvements or the quality of life of those who work in the factories or indeed creating the product in a way that will detriment the earth to a smaller extent.
    Without advertising the price would be halved and your money would go towards better aims. In many cases it would revive local industry as it once again became economic to buy local.

    So while advertising is touted as creating industry, really it is destroying it in the true sense of the word. Goods travel further, using more fuel, are made under dubious working conditions by people on low wages, last the minimum permissible time to make a sale. The turnover in items promoted by the advertising industry serves to quickly fill our planet with discarded goods to put alongside the broken goods that prematurely failed.

    Advertising should be made accountable for end to end satisfaction for the workers, the public who have their visual landscape polluted, the viewers who have to spend an extra hour watching a movie on TV, the bandwidth consumed by irrelevant emails, the consumption of glossy paper in magazines, etc., etc..

    It would seem that the half of the price of goods that has occurred due to advertising, ultimately becomes wasted resources, visual pollution, wasted time, cloying radio announcements and pollution from extra paper or throw away prizes.

    It started with the pens that were printed with the company name, to be stolen and remain "in-your-face" reminders of the company. Now the majority are taxed for the minority to be sponsored.
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      Mar 6 2012: Advertising can be a good thing if it helps fill a need. For example: I want some pizza but not sure who to order from. I open the newspaper and see a coupon for Buy 1 Get 1 Free. That is a heck of a deal and I jump on it because it was what I wanted and it helped me save during this transaction.

      Also if a new product comes out, like a new video game or gadget, advertising has often been the way I found about it's release and where to get it.

      So I think what your main point may be, (if I may put it into my own words), is that we need a new kind of advertising platform that works off of an ethical baseline and does not contribute to the cost of the goods being sold. Social Media is definitely the door to this imho.

      Good comment, thanks.

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