Advertising & Public Relations Ethics Case Studies


Ethical Targeting or Transgressing Ethics?

Ethical Targeting or Transgressing Ethics?

Is it ethical to use personalized data to target voters in political ad campaigns?
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Privacy versus Products in Targeted Digital Advertising

Privacy versus Products in Targeted Digital Advertising

What does objective reporting mean in covering the Black Lives Matter protests?
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How Much Emotion Can Health Campaigns Ethically Evoke?

How Much Emotion Can Health Campaigns Ethically Evoke?

How far can health campaigns go in convincing people to eat healthy?
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Setting the Terms of the Debate

Setting the Terms of the Debate

What are the ethics of strategic framing in political advocacy campaigns?
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Whose Image is It to Use?

Whose Image is It to Use?

What ethical choices lie behind the use of images for advocacy campaigns?
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Ethics and E-Cigarette Advertising

Ethics and E-Cigarette Advertising

What ethical concerns arise in regulating e-cigarette advertising?
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Green is the New Color of Money

Green is the New Color of Money

What are the ethical concerns with "greenwashing" in advertisements to sell products?
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Advertising Ethics and Social Issues

Advertising Ethics and Social Issues

Gillette walks the razor's edge in using the battle against toxic masculinity in their recent ad campaign.
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Just Do It?

Just Do It?

Did Nike do too much in their use of Colin Kaepernick and others in their recent advertising campaign?
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Side Effects May Include Persuasion

Side Effects May Include Persuasion

What ethical concerns are raised by direct-to-consumer advertising for pharmaceutical products?
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How to Use Case Studies in Your Class

How to Use Case Studies in Your Class

How to use case studies to integrate ethics content and skills in your classes.
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Sweet Justice?

Sweet Justice?

Did Pepsi go too far in its use of protest iconography to sell its product?
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More cases coming soon!


Case studies produced by the Media Ethics Initiative remain the intellectual property of the Media Ethics Initiative and the University of Texas at Austin. They can be used in unmodified PDF form without permission for classroom use. For use in publications such as textbooks and other works, please contact the Media Ethics Initiative.