By Ernesto Astorga on November 2, 2018
The technology revolution and convenience continue leading many businesses to focus on their online advertising campaigns. The idea of attracting consumers leads to unethical practices violating our principles and creating instability in society. Current algorithms allow many to manipulate and use internet tools such as social media sites to obtain users information or disseminate false news. The Cambria Analytical scandal uncovered the poor policies and regulations to protect consumer information and exposed how companies can abuse naïve consumers and manipulate them as they know tendencies and preferences while surfing the internet. Also, our society is experiencing a division based on the manipulation of those who take advantage of creating confusion and division based on different ethics and morals views.
How dangerous is the current model of online advertising for society? Online advertising is necessary and essential for businesses as is open access for consumers, but unfortunately, it is also a danger due to the problems and division it is creating among society. To describe the problem here are my 5 level grades of danger of misusing online advertising (5 is highly dangerous and 1 not dangerous at all).
- Society’s “tech addiction” is spreading among adults and kids and the internet is full of fake propaganda, scams, fake new and bad sites. Society should enforce companies and authorities to regulate and fix the problem.
- Social media can be used to influence and divide society, we all are exposed to thousands of ads a day while browsing.
- Criminals can use online advertising to obtain sensitive information, steal money and propagate fake information damaging consumers and society.
- Poor regulations of online advertising in the United States damage the industry.
- Companies and users benefit from online advertising. Convenience, time and accessibility enhance business.
The regulation of online advertising is necessary to protect users and the ethics and values that regulate our society. Authorities must establish better regulations and make sure marketers comply, not only for better business practices, but also protect society from the instability we are experiencing today. Different ethics and values are creating chaos and we have to enforce better values for business practices and assure marketers are following these in order to maintain a balance. The following is my proposal code of ethics to regulate marketer online activities and make sure they comply to protect consumers and society:
- The American Marketers association should work with companies and authorities to create a set of regulations and policies to govern online advertising and apply sanctions when necessary.
- Companies are responsible for their marketers’ practices and regulate the content of their online advertising.
- Marketers should sanction when they abuse their capabilities and use online advertising, based on the regulation of the code of ethics.
- A code of ethics is applicable to all businesses that practice online advertising.
- Companies are responsible for tracking the activity of users or customers that damage their reputation and abuse their service spreading fake advertising or information and obtain benefits that damage others and society.
- Online advertising should be accurate to avoid problems with consumers.
- Companies and marketers should encourage consumers to help and report fake online advertising or news that creates problems among society.
- Marketers, companies, and authorities work together to monitor and continue making changes to regulatory policies to protect business and society.
We all as a society, users, and consumers, cannot cross our fingers and work together. Marketers are responsible for the content, but we also have our to do our part to ensure it is acceptable and protect the ethics and morals of society. Malpractices should be stopped, they only creating division among society, diminish users’ credibility and businesses’ trust. It is important to support companies and marketers, especially in social media by understanding the damage to online advertising malpractices are doing. The 2016 elections campaign digital propaganda is an example of how online advertising can divide a society and we must avoid further problems.
The General Data Protection Regulation is a great model in how it protects the European economy and society by regulating the use and dissemination of users’ data. Companies such as Facebook and Twitter are responsible for managing and protecting data. Recent scandals should urge marketers to protect what they collect and their moral responsibilities.
Technology continues expanding and an oncoming generation will continue implementing and expanding online business. There must be regulations in place in order to regulate marketers and companies to comply with the law. Loyalty is also necessary as many felt betrayed after different scandals. We must integrate and act responsibly to protect such an important business tool and society.
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Soghoian, C. (2017, January 26). How to protect your online privacy. Retrieved from https://blog.ed.ted.com/2017/01/24/how-to-protect-your-online-privacy/
Manjoo, F. (2018, January 31). Tackling the Internet’s Central Villain: The Advertising Business. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/technology/internet-advertising-business.html
Robles, P. (2018, April 04). Is the ad fraud problem really getting better? New research suggests not. Retrieved from https://econsultancy.com/is-the-ad-fraud-problem-really-getting-better-new-research-suggests-not/
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(n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.google.com/search?q=how dangerous you believe the current model of online advertising is for society?&rlz=1C1MKDC_enUS772US772&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQipz03bbeAhUQHTQIHR_DCrYQ_AUIFCgC&biw=1243&bih=684#imgrc=tLT5YWS5c2FbDM