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Business ethics in-class activity week 5


In Week 4 & 5-1 lecture, we’ve learned that advertising could be unethical in two ways:

(a)[O’Neil/Susser et al.] Advertising is unethical when it manipulates the audience.

(b)[Johnson] Advertising is unethical when it bullshits.

Q1. Once again, briefly describe the ad that you recently saw/heard; do you think that the ad was unethical in any of these two ways?

Q2. Do you think that there is any other way(s) in which advertising could be unethical?


We have seen two opposing arguments re: sweatshops.

(1) Ian Maitland argues that paying higher wages and imposing more strict labor standards may harm the sweatshop workers & the countries that host sweatshops.

(2) Denis Arnold and Laura Hartman argue that not paying higher wages and not imposing more strict labor standards is morally impermissible, because then MNCs interfere with the workers’ basic human rights. 

After learning more on each position, which position seems more plausible? Why?

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