Ethical Advertising: Oxymoron or Aspiration?

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Cowboy comedian Will Rogers quipped, “Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need.” To what extent can advertising be ethical? What should it be allowed to spruik, and to whom? When ads enter controversial territory, how does the industry respond?

Our panel of ethicists and ad-folk, including Jon Casimir, executive producer and author of The Gruen Transfer, academic psychologist Cordelia Fine and Clemenger BBDO Group Creative Director Emma Hill, alongside chair Ben Birchall, unpick the principles that underpin the hard sell.

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