Document Type

Journal Article


While social marketers are rarely targeted in discussions of the ethics of advertising, we are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of ensuring that social marketing messages are developed and conveyed in an ethical fashion. The article reviews complaints made by members of the general public in Australia and New Zealand to the advertising regulatory bodies in those two countries for the five years 2000–2004; examining the number, type, and nature of these complaints – including the categories of advertising, and the types of appeals, which generate complaints from the general public in both countries. We find that, as for commercial advertising, there is a need for further research to explore ‘‘community standards’’ in relation to social marketing messages; and that there is a clear need for social marketers to consider consumer attitudes towards advertising when developing communication strategies and messages.