Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Jones, SC, Australian industry responses to current ethical dilemmas – fast cars and fast food, Discourse, Diversity and Distinction: Macromarketing at 30 Years, Papers of the 30th Annual Macromarketing conference, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, 28 – 31 May 2005. Original conference information available here


This paper reviews two ethical dilemmas currently facing advertisers in Australia, which have resulted from lobby group activities and public concern over health and safety issues, and discusses industry responses to these dilemmas. In Australia the main response mechanism for advertisers has been the introduction of self-regulatory codes of practice. A review of the general and trade press, and of the records of the Australian Advertising Standards Board, finds that industry responses tend to be based on teleological ethics (focus on the ends) rather than deontological ethics (focus on the means), with the primary teleological motive being to avoid deleterious outcomes for the industry rather than for society as a whole.