Thursday, April 24, 2014

Media Ethics & Issues: Ch. 3

Strategic Communication: Does Client Advocate Mean Consumer Adversary?

This chapter talks a lot about how susceptible audiences are to advertisements. It's interesting how the evolution of technology, public relations and advertising project new ethical issues that the public is not entirely aware of. The chapter begins by discussing how cookies and Web Beacons are used to gain insight into how to best market their product based on a user's interests. I think the relationship between "a room of requirement" and "a system of values" comes into play in regards to technology. Technology is great, but it can so often be used against us in order to fuel another's financial gain. I especially am interested in the fact that there isn't a solution to this other than thinking in terms of communitarianism, privacy, utilitarianism, etc. The solution relies on too many individuals to have an answer. The bigger picture of the chapter is more or less a reality check in regards to where we are heading in terms of advertising and public relations especially when the majority of audiences are supremely unaware of this new wave of strategic communication.

Communitarianism can be applied in explicit relation to the TARES process that does focus on the betterment of the public. What remains scary is the choice that advertisers have to abide by this system. Since communitarianism does focus on the individual and his or her acts, it circles back to their individual choice that may or may not influence the greater good of society. The choice also involves Kant's categorical imperative by recognizing advertising as a means to an end. Again, it is whether or not the means is used in a productive way to a positive end. In that sense, Utilitarianism can be applied to recognize the consequences of said action of advertising and marketing companies. What remains is a trial and error process involving this strategic communication that will ultimately determine the most ethically effective ways to engage audiences without undermining a lack of information and relinquishing productive and necessary tact.

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