Advertising lies all the time – at least this is what most people think. I must admit that I tend to believe them when I see all the rubbish on various home shopping channels or housewife-magazines (no really, this kind of magazines exist). To be honest, advertising doesn’t lie more than the average human in any position and mansion, but I think advertising should not lie.
In many countries “lying” in advertising is strict prohibited and if you check the ads you probably find small clues for the omitted facts or the specific “conditions” to get the praised results. But this is not my point.
When do you reach the point where it is advisable to not advertise at all a product? Is it ok for a Aspirin to advertise its painkilling for sportsmen? I’ve seen an ad in TV where two girls talk after a fitness session. One complains about her aking muscles and other one gives her aspirin. Hmm. Stretching or not overdoing might be the better advice.
As an art director I was more than once presented to advertise products with small to none improvements or benefits when compared to the competitors products. I had obviously to show the product as if it where the best product of the world but I always avoided to push it over the top. I also refused to do advertising for certain products. I will not do advertising for weapons, drugs, cars (if they claim to save nature), the usual stuff – but where do you trace the line?
Is the graphic designer responsible for the products of his client? In my opinion any art director and graphic designer take a part of the responsibility because he helps to deliver the message to the costumers of his client. If you deliver a faulty message or if you do not deliver the truth you take part in the disguise. You as a graphic designer might not spot on first sight that the product doesn’t deliver what it claims but this is not always the excuse – it should come out when you do the briefing.
What do you think about the morale in advertising, where do you trace the line? Your opinions are welcome.
Foto by tdietmut (traying to catch up)