Remember Volkswagen and its clean diesel cars? Red Bull being able to give you wings? New Balance and its sneakers that could help you burn more calories?
The list is endless seemingly.
Unethical advertising is as old as consumerism. But that doesn’t make it right.
False claims in your ads may be tempting but they are a dangerous thing. It may be tempting to stretch the truth a little, at best, or outright make false claims at worst, in order to attract new customers or get them to buy your product or service.
In this case, everyone knows that flying is bad for the planet. Its impact on global warming and climate change are far from negligible. It leaves a huge carbon footprint as aircrafts use aviation fuel which is petroleum-based. And to say that you are protecting the future of the planet is clearly a false claim.
The world is waking up to climate change, the danger in burning up fossil fuels, the hole in the ozone layer, the melting polar ice-caps, the environment and the world we live in. So much so that some brands may be tempted to cash in on that wave and make claims that are completely false, in order to attract new customers. It might even seem like it is fashionable, so to say, to do so.
Choosing to omit some important information, or coloring it a bit to make everything sound above board may work short-term. But it will deceive consumers and be detrimental for brands in the long run.
This could cause brands to get in trouble with regulatory bodies, lose thousands of dollars, end up with a lot of negative publicity, and lead up to customers losing faith in you. And now with everyone hooked up and vocal on Social Media, the consequences can be far-reaching and disastrous.
Even brands with a loyal customer-base can get a lot of negative repercussions with this kind of thing. It can tarnish the brand’s image and can have a negative effect on the impression current and prospective customers have about the brand, which will then translate into hesitant client approaches and a decreased consumer base.
The long-term repercussions that such deliberate misleading could cause are huge, and the immediate consequence is a PR nightmare! This kind of unethical, misleading advertising is something brands would do well to stay miles away from – it is just not worth being penny wise and pound foolish.