Ethics of using photoshop in advertising

Is it ethical for magazines and advertisers to digitally manipulate photos? What if these images have a negative impact on people’e self image and lead to various disorders? Do these companies have any responsibility? What about the fact that these are companies trying to profit and if their advertising is not effective they would not be profitable? What if the magazines sold fewer copies or advertisers sold fewer products if they didn’t retouch their models so drastically? Is it appropriate to tell people that if they don’t like what magazines or advertisers are doing then you don’t have to look or buy?

Below are a few links to interesting stories and websites on the issue.

Energy Drinks Promise Edge, but Experts Say Proof Is Scant

Do advertisers have an ethical responsibility to accurately inform their audiences?

Energy drinks are really popular and increasingly so. They make many claims about increased mental and physical performance and charge a lot of money for their products. If the actual product they’re selling is nothing more than overpriced caffeine with some other ingredients thrown in, are they behaving unethically?

DirecTv ad “Don’t Wake Up in a Roadside Ditch”

Here is a DirecTv ad that makes is what is called a slippery slope  fallacy in its reasoning. It’s intentional in order to be funny. You’ll notice that each step in the argument is only loosely related to the one before which takes you from one event to a very different place in the end.

Lyndon B Johnson’s famous “Daisy Ad”

One of the most famous and controversial political ads in American history, LBJ’s “Daisy Ad” was a great example of an appeal to emotion argument. Rather than present a reasoned argument or discuss facts, the ad takes one of the scariest prospects of the time, or any time, nuclear war, and tries to capitalize on people’s emotions by saying that a vote for the other guy would lead to nuclear war. The ad was only aired once but had a huge impact.