ROFLMFAO. According to Advertising Age, “the American Advertising Foundation is teaming up with the University of Missouri’s Reynolds Journalism Institute this week to launch an Institute for Advertising Ethics.”
Led by an apparently undiagnosed Alzheimer’s victim named Wally Snyder, the new Institute aims, of course, not for the inherently impossible and ridiculous — honest advertising. That is a pure oxymoron, as the entire point of modern corporate marketing is scientifically crafted deception.
What the new Institute wants to achieve instead is, of course again, “building consumer trust and brand loyalty in the new global and digital economy” by getting “[t]he advertising industry [to] take a proactive stance on ethics.” Advertising advertising, in other words.
The promise? In Wally Snyder’s words, “research reported by the Wall Street Journal showed that consumers are willing to pay more for an ethically produced product.” Translation: If you can trick people into thinking your trickery is honesty, you can trick them even better.
Meanwhile, the American public remains dangerously mis-informed on this topic. Ad Age reports:
In a 2007 Gallup/USA Today Poll, advertising practitioners ranked third from last among professions in public perception of honesty and ethics, just ahead of lobbyists and car salesmen.
When it comes to dishonesty and manipulation, lobbyists and car salesmen are mere dabblers compared to corporate marketers.