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Creative Geniuses or Manipulators of the Soul? The Ethics of Advertising

Craig Biddle, Christopher Snowdon

Presented at: The Advertising Wars: Ethics, Culture & Politics ARC-UK

Date: Apr 13, 2019

Advertising has given us moments of creative brilliance, such as the now iconic Apple’s ‘1984’ Macintosh commercial. Yet, there seems to be a consensus that, unlike other forms of creative expression, the advertiser is subject to regulations and often outright censorship. Is this a reasonable concern? If so, what makes advertising special? Is it the aim to lure customers to buy a product? Its mass audience? And how are we to judge advertising for products that are bad for one’s health, or addictive, or target a vulnerable audience, such as children? Overall, is commercial advertising an ethical endeavour, or is it lying to us and creating false needs?

Panel discussion with Craig Biddle, Editor of The Objective Standard magazine, and Christopher Snowdon, Editor of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs


Parts: 1

Handout: none