Social and Ethical Considerations in Advertising Although all advertising has pros and cons, one particularly divisive issue in the past 50 years has been the promotion of cigarettes. Critics claim that cigarette manufacturers create ads that target children and make potentially dangerous or addictive products seem appealing. The ongoing clash between the industry and the federal government resulted in the 1988 Master Settlement Agreement. This legislation requires manufacturers to take down advertising from billboards and sports arenas and to stop using cartoon characters to sell cigarettes. The tobacco companies also agreed to not market or promote their products to young people. The strict regulatory environment is a far cry from the heyday of the tobacco advertising of past decades. Truth in Advertising, a site that contains historic ads for well-known cigarette products is a virtual shrine to the laissez-faire days of tobacco advertising. Truth in Advertising: http://www.adflip.com/ a. Go to this site and choose from an ad from the 1940s or 1950s and describe how it reflects the priorities of society in that era. Is the advertisement guilty of promoting materialism? Explain. b. In what way does the ad inform the consumer? In what way is the ad superficial? c. What needs does the product claim to satisfy? How does the advertisement create artificial needs? d. What do you think is the advertiser’s ethical and social responsibility concerning the promotion of cigarettes? Apply relevant chapter concepts in your answer.