Forum Community Quantifies Ad Ethics


The discourse about ethics in advertising is getting picked up by people who'd like to help draw out that imaginary red line in a way that doesn't sound so whiny. Under the premise that society (and not just irate marketing bloggers) can now contribute to media messages, After These Messages does for the opinionated audience what Yelp did for hipsters who get their kicks bitching out posh restaurants. You log in, post an ad and then - get this - scale its ethical weight and relevance. The gauge includes questions like the following: If you created it, would you sleep well at night? Does it contribute to society? Will it bring good karma? Is it an effective piece of communication?

Once you rate the ad, aggregate results appear in a quadrant that determines its position between heaven and hell, genius and hack. If what we just said is totally confusing, check out an example of the quadrant for Cocaine, a new drink that's (understandably) under fire.

A little new-agey (if we believed in karma or even hell, would we be marketers?) but it adds texture to the usual self-righteous moral banter. The question is, doesn't it defeat the purpose for people to emotionally opine over ads they find racy or unacceptable, considering strong reactions are what effective ads shoot for? - Contributed by Angela Natividad

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