Advertising Ethics

Advertising Ethics


Ethics Certificate Workshops

Certificate for the Practice of Enhanced Advertising Ethics

The ethics certificate is awarded after attendance at the AAF's Ad Ethics Workshop

The American Advertising Federation, in conjunction with the Institute for Advertising Ethics (IAE), has initiated a new professional certificate opportunity for advertising, PR and marketing communications professionals. Based on the growing and documented importance of ethics to consumers, professionals and clients, the half day session prepares professionals to understand and resolve the ethical dilemmas in the real world of advertising. More than 500 professionals have received the Certificate for the Practice of Enhanced Advertising Ethics from sessions held at the national conference and district and local clubs.

The course of instruction is presented by Wally Snyder, AAF President Emeritus and IAE Executive Director, a member of the Advertising Hall of Fame, and former Associate Director for Advertising Practices at the Federal Trade Commission. The course relies on marketing research, case studies on ethical dilemmas in the marketplace and office and the ethical stories of leading advertising and marketing professionals. The certificate classes will be presented as a partnership of the AAF and our local clubs and federations with the AAF furnishing the curriculum and teaching materials and the club and federation providing location and local promotion.

Cost: The participant's cost of attending the half day session is $100 with the AAF receiving $50 per certificate attendee for administrative costs. Those taking the class will receive an ethics certificate and other office materials.

Workshop Curriculum

  1. Discussion of WHY Advertising Ethics is important to the consumer and to the advertising professional and company, including both the business case and equally important personal case. Teaching materials include consumer research, reference to learning from Business ethicists, and the personal opinions of leading and well known ad professionals.
  2. Complete discussion of WHAT are the current ethical dilemmas faced by professionals in the workplace and in the creation and dissemination of advertising. This section of the course is based on the newly adopted Principles and Practices for Advertising Ethics along with case studies and reference to government, business and consumer decisions. Ethical issues to be discussed include dealing with clients, agencies, media, suppliers and office employees; treating children and special products, like alcoholic beverages with special care; the lack of transparency in online blogs and offline endorsements; protecting consumer privacy; the blurring of the line between advertising on the one hand and news and entertainment on the other; and avoiding ads offensive to the customer.
  3. Role Playing: We will break into groups facilitated a local club leader to practice decision making on ethical dilemmas by considering the ethical principles, case studies the participants have learned and personal ethics – Report back to the class.
  4. Discussion of how we can inspire our professionals in our ad businesses to practice enhanced advertising ethics. This section will include illustrations of creating cultural values for the company – including adoption of the Principles and Practices for Advertising Ethics – and communicating the values throughout the company and creating the expectation that they will be practiced. Also, we will emphasize the practice of “telling ethical stories” to our professionals about the dilemmas faced to let them feel the importance of being ethical for the company and themselves.
To participate in or learn more about Certificate Workshops, please contact Wally Snyder, Executive Director, Institute for Advertising Ethics