Document Type

Journal Article


This paper reviews three ethical dilemmas currently facing advertisers for cars, fast food and pharmaceuticals in the U.S., U.K. and Australia, and discusses Australian industry responses to these dilemmas. In Australia, as in the U.S. and U.K., the main response mechanism for advertisers has been the introduction of self-regulatory codes of practice. It is important to note that in a number of cases there is no conclusive evidence of the argued harm from advertising that is subsequently banned or regulated. A review of the general and trade press, and the records of the Australian Advertising Standards Board, finds that industry responses tend to be based on industry rather than community concerns, with the primary motive being to avoid deleterious outcomes for the industry rather than for society as a whole.