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Advertising Ethics and Social Issues

CASE STUDY: Gillette’s Close Shave with Toxic Masculinity

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Screencapture: YouTube.com

Gillette took to social media to air their new “We Believe” advertisement in early January of 2019. The ad depicts what some would consider the issues related to the common “boys will be boys” mind set and the issues related to current social movements. The ad depicts men of all ages partaking in behavior that many found very controversial to begin with. The ad begins with audio from various newscasts that reported on several controversial topics such as the spread of the #MeToo movement and other ways in which men were involved in cultural movements from the past couple of years. The ad continues to show how these ideas are spread by depicting a scene where fathers are standing around a barbeque laughing and as making excuses as their young sons fight. Another scene depicts a very young boy crying to his mother after his peers had sent him text messages calling him derogatorily terms and questioning his masculinity.  Bullying, toxic masculinity, and sexual harassment are all addressed within the short ad campaign. While some believe this ad is challenging men to hold themselves to a higher standard, others disagree and feel that this ad is shaming them based on their gender. The commercial begins by showing men partaking in controversial behavior such as cyber bullying, cat calling, and fighting. The ad then challenges these men to step above these actions by depicting ways men can avoid partaking in and teaching such things to younger generations.

Scott Galloway, founder of the business research firm Gartner L2 and a professor of marketing at New York University, argues “The ‘woke’ business strategy will be a big theme in 2019 as that’s where the money is.” People who seem to agree with Proctor and Gamble’s stance on the issues in “We Believe” applaud the commercials portrayal of real world issues such as bullying and the #MeToo movement. These pro “We Believe” Twitter uses have defended the ad stating “This commercial isn’t anti-male, it’s pro humanity” (Evans 2019). Other viewers have taken to social media and other platforms to discuss their dissatisfaction with Gillette’s message. These viewers seem to feel that this ad blames certain social issues of today on all males regardless of true character.  Political commentator, Ben Shapiro remarked on the issues he saw in the Gillette campaign: “This ad is all about how men have created a crisis of masculinity in America. How men have trained their boys to be bad. How men are solely responsible for all of the ills in American society. An ad created by a company who makes their money off of men shaving” (Shapiro 2019). Along with Shapiro, the hash-tag #BoycottGillette has rapidly gained recognition after the company released this ad. Twitter users in support of this boycott find that “a company who has asked us to celebrate masculinity for 30 years suddenly wants us to feel ashamed of it.” (Grant, 2019). Others agreed with Gillette’s message about harmful gendered stereotypes but remained skeptical about companies like Gillette and Nike using social justice imagery and messages in a calculated attempt to sell products and brand.

Time will tell if such advertising campaigns help or hurt companies’ bottom lines. But the question stands: Is Gillette’s “We Believe” advertisement a smooth use of important social topics or simply another way to gain a positive image among consumers?

Discussion Questions:

  1. Was it smart for a company like Gillette to air a commercial like this or do you feel it will inevitably hurt them as a brand? Why do you think this?
  2. Will this affect the future of advertising and the way companies leverage social issues in campaigns?
  3. Do you think Gillette could’ve accomplished their message without sparking an enormous controversy?
  4. Do you agree that it was hypocritical of Gillette to air this commercial or do you think they’re trying to right past wrongs?
  5. Which brands and in which ways could you see classic male brands aligning or disagreeing with Gillette for Men?

Further Information:

Evans, Erica. “Gillette Is Being Praised and Condemned for an Ad about ‘Toxic Masculinity.’ Here’s What People Are Saying.” DeseretNews.com, Deseret News, 15 Jan. 2019, Available at: www.deseretnews.com/article/900050816/gillette-is-being-praised-and-condemned-for-an-ad-about-toxic-masculinity-heres-what-people-are-saying.html

Gant, Michelle. “Gillette Addresses ‘Toxic Masculinity’ in New Ad Campaign.” Fox News, Available at:  www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/gillette-addresses-toxic-masculinity-in-new-ad-campaign

McCluskey, Megan. “Gillette Makes Waves With Controversial New Commercial.” Time, 15 Jan. 2019, Available at: www.time.com/5503156/gillette-razors-toxic-masculinity/

Meyersohn, Nathaniel. “Gillette Says It’s Satisfied with Sales after Controversial Ad.” CNN, 23 Jan. 2019, Available at:  www.cnn.com/2019/01/23/business/gillette-ad-procter-and-gamble-stock/index.html

Authors:

Grace Holland & Scott R. Stroud, Ph.D.
Media Ethics Initiative
Center for Media Engagement
University of Texas at Austin
February 26, 2019

www.mediaethicsinitiative.org


Cases 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 or educational uses. Please email us and let us know if you found them useful! For use in publications such as textbooks, readers, and other works, please contact the Media Ethics Initiative.

Entertaining Endorsements in Sports Journalism

CASE STUDY: The Ethics of Product Sponsorship in Sports Media

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Although it is generally rare for journalists to accept endorsement deals, the realm of televised sports journalism appears to be an exception. Erin Andrews, a sideline reporter for the 2011 Rose Bowl and a spokeswoman for Reebok, caused a stir in the sports world and renewed concerns regarding journalists endorsing products for pay. During her coverage of the Rose Bowl, Andrews reported that the players from one team were performing poorly because the new Nike Zoom Alpha Talon cleats they were wearing were causing them to slip on the field. Her remarks remained uncontroversial until two weeks later, when Reebok announced that Andrews would be “the first female featured in Reebok’s ZigTech campaign,” endorsing a shoe in direct competition with the Nike cleat.

It is unclear whether Andrews had struck a deal with Reebok prior to her comments about the Nike shoe, but the comments led some to question her credibility. Kelly McBride, a journalism professor at the Poynter Institute states: “Journalists can review products. But they can’t take money from a company to endorse them. That totally ruins their credibility… If those reporters were getting paid to endorse mp3 players or cholesterol drugs, no one in the audience would trust their judgment, because their independence would be compromised.” On the other hand, ESPN, the news outlet Andrews works for, notes that it is unlikely that she would have many opportunities to discuss the shoes in her sideline reporting role. Even if she does, they argue that as long as she discloses her relationship with Reebok it should not be an issue.

While most would agree that journalistic endorsements can be problematic in certain contexts, it is not clear whether televised sports casting should be an exception. Todd Rosenstiel, director of Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, says that disclosure is “the minimum standard,” but he compares sports reporting to political reporting. In the political context, journalists cannot accept money from parties or interest groups. Others, however, draw a line between hard journalism and the type of reporting Andrews engages in while covering sporting events, likening her more to an entertainer than a journalist.

In response to such concerns, ESPN instituted a new policy prohibiting reporters like Andrews from accepting endorsement deals. However, the policy is specific to reporters—not analysts. According to the policy, “… in assessing apparel, footwear and equipment, exceptions will be granted to players, coaches and administrators who are engaged as analysts and for whom such endorsements are part of the sports coverage/reporting landscape.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. Did Andrews do anything wrong? Why or why not?
  1. Would it matter if she had signed the Reebok deal before making the comments about the Nike shoes?
  1. Should ESPN cover the controversy surrounding Andrews? Why might one say they shouldn’t? If they do cover it, what would be the ethically best way to do so?
  1. Do endorsements hurt the credibility of sports reporters and analysts? Is it harmful enough for organizations like ESPN to forbid?

Further Information:

The Big Lead, “Erin Andrews has Another Controversy: Sneakers.” Available at: http://thebiglead.com/index.php/2011/01/27/erin-andrews-has-another-controversy-sneakers/

Katie Thomas, “Andrews faces Questions about a Deal with Reebok.” New York Times, January 29, 2011. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/sports/30espn.html

Allan Brettman, “ESPN revises Endorsement Policy; Erin Andrews allowed to keep Reebok Deal through 2011.” Available at: http://blog.oregonlive.com/playbooksandprofits/2011/04/espn_revises_endorsement_polic.html

Authors:

Danee Pye, Ph.D., & Scott R. Stroud, Ph.D.
Media Ethics Initiative
Center for Media Engagement
University of Texas at Austin
www.mediaethicsinitiative.org


Cases 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 or educational use. Please email us and let us know if you found them useful! For use in publications such as textbooks, readers, and other works, please contact the Media Ethics Initiative.

Just Do It?

CASE STUDY: Nike, Social Justice, and the Ethics of Branding

Case Study PDF | Additional Case Studies


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ViktorCylo / CC BY 3.0 / Modified

In September of 2018, Nike unveiled their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, featuring prominent athletes such as Serena Williams, LeBron James, Lacey Baker, and Odell Beckham Jr. Also featured in the series is former San Francisco 49ers quarterback turned activist Colin Kaepernick, who has been a controversial figure since early August of 2016 when he protested racial injustice in America by sitting and later kneeling during the national anthem at the start of football games. Kaepernick’s Nike advertisement, which he posted to social media sites on September 3, 2018, displays a close-up image of his face with the words “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything” written across the image. Some have praised the advertisement as taking a stand in the nationwide debate over the state of minority rights while others have been concerned with Nike’s movement into the arena of political advocacy.

Gino Fisanotti, Nike’s vice president of brand marketing for North America, defended the company’s featuring of Kaepernick, who has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season when he refused a contract with the 49ers: “We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward.” Additionally, many high-profile athletes and celebrities have voiced their support for Nike and Kaepernick, including LeBron James and Serena Williams, both outspoken figures about social justice in their own right. “He’s done a lot for the African American community, and its cost him a lot. It’s sad,” Williams said of Kaepernick. “Having a huge company back him,” she continued, “could be a controversial reason for this company, but they’re not afraid. I feel like that was a really powerful statement to a lot of other companies.”

Other observers see Nike’s move from the commercial to the political as potentially concerning. Michael Serazio worries that this is just another sophisticated trick from a corporate powerhouse: “Getting us to think we’re making a statement by buying Nike is the long con advertising has played, and it has played it well.” Increasingly, brands are giving in to a recent demand for politicization, forcing consumers to question the political participation of various corporations. Some argue that Nike is using a popular movement to increase its own sales, and taking advantage of the prestige and celebrity status of its minority athletes while doing so. Another worry is that it distracts attention from how Nike products are made, often by workers in difficult working conditions in developing countries. As Serazio puts it, the new campaign risks diverting our focus from “the marginalized who make stuff rather than the posturing it affords those privileged enough to own it.”

The advertisement campaign is a risky move for Nike, who might garner heightened attention to its products and brand, but who also runs the risk of alienating part of its consumer base by becoming too politicized. Swaths of the football-watching public, and public at large, are divided by the anthem protests carried on by Kaepernick and others. By featuring the originator of this series of protests, many fans might view Nike as standing with black athletes and their concerns. Yet others may view the advertisement as an attempt to profit off of a protest that strikes at the heart of patriotic values that some hold dear. Some owners of Nike products even illustrated their disgust with the campaign by burning their shoes, and then subsequently posting the flaming images on social media. So far, however, Nike has not sacrificed anything due to the gamble that this advertising campaign represents: Nike stock is up 5% since the advertisement hit the public, representing $6 billion increase in Nike’s market value.

Nike’s campaign was meant to garner attention and make a statement on its 30th anniversary. It succeeded at accomplishing these goals. But many are still wondering: was Nike primarily interested in taking a courageous stand on an important political issue of our time, or were they simply using Kaepernick as a clever ploy to sell more shoes?

Discussion Questions:

  1. Should a company like Nike get involved in matters of political controversy and social justice?
  2. Is Nike misusing Kaepernick and the NFL protests in its recent campaign? If you judge this to be the case, what other ways could Nike do if they wanted to bring attention to these issues and protests?
  3. Do you think that these advertisements will hurt Nike’s brand or bottom line? Do you think this is an important ethical consideration for Nike?
  4. Should companies take stands on controversial debates orbiting around justice and the public good in their advertisement campaigns? Why or why not?
  5. Nike clearly has the ability—and right—to take a stand on this issue. What should the virtuous consumer do in reacting to Nike’s campaign? What about if they disagree with Nike’s stance?

Further Information:

Anderson, Mae. “Good for business? Nike gets political with Kaepernick ad.” September 4, 2018. Available at: https://www.apnews.com/6aaced14b24d4622aefeb44d3b17c2d6

Belvedere, Matthew J. “Sorkin: Nike’s Kaepernick ad decision was based on ‘attracting big name athletes’ who side with his cause.” September 7, 2018. Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/07/sorkin-nike-kaepernick-ad-based-on-attracting-big-name-athletes.html

Boren, Cindy. “As Trump tweets, Colin Kaepernick shares new Nike ad that reportedly will air during NFL opener.” Washington Post. September 5, 2018. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2018/09/05/trump-says-nike-is-getting-absolutely-killed-over-colin-kaepernick-ad-renews-attack-on-nfl-players/

Reints, Renae. “Colin Kaepernick Pushes Nike’s Market Value Up $6 Billion, to an All-Time High.” Fortune. September 23, 2018. Available at: http://fortune.com/2018/09/23/nike-market-value-colin-kaepernick-ad/

Rovell, Darren. “Colin Kaepernick part of Nike’s 30th anniversary of ‘Just Do It’ campaign.” ESPN. September 3, 2018. Available at: http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/24568359/colin-kaepernick-face-nike-just-do-30th-anniversary-campaign

Serazio, Michael. “Nike isn’t trying to be ‘woke.’ It’s trying to sell shoes.” Washington Post. September 5, 2018. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2018/09/05/nike-isnt-trying-be-woke-its-trying-sell-shoes/

Authors:

Holland J. Smith & Scott R. Stroud, Ph.D.
Media Ethics Initiative
Center for Media Engagement
University of Texas at Austin
September 24, 2018

www.mediaethicsinitiative.org


Cases 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 or educational uses. Please email us and let us know if you found them useful! For use in publications such as textbooks, readers, and other works, please contact the Media Ethics Initiative.

Side Effects May Include Persuasion

CASE STUDY: The Ethics of Direct-to-Consumer Pharmaceutical Advertisements

Case Study PDF | Additional Case Studies


The United States and New Zealand are the only two countries in the world where direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising for prescription drugs is legal. The United States accounts for 5% of the world’s population yet it is responsible for 42% of global pharmaceutical ad spending. In the U.S., DTC advertisements tend to follow the format demanded by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): the utility of the drug is explained, and then followed by a list of potential side effects. Jon Swallen, the chief research officer for Kantar Media, a firm that tracks multimedia advertising, noted that “Pharmaceutical advertising has grown more in the past four years than any other leading ad category” (2017). Spending on pharmaceutical commercials has increased by 62% since 2012, exceeding $6 billion in 2016, while spending for the majority of other products remains flat according to a report from ABC News. Brand name drugs tend to be astronomically more expensive than their equivalent, generic counterparts, magnifying the need for professionally-produced and persuasive advertisements that are calculated to get consumers to want specific drugs for their ailments. One may think that the presence of negative outcomes of the drug in DTC advertisements removes any ethical concerns by fully informing consumers of potential risks, but evidence suggests the opposite may be true. According to Jeff Rothstein, the CEO of an advertising agency specializing in health care, “It’s counterintuitive, but everything in our research suggests that hearing about the risks increases consumers’ belief in the advertising” (Kaufman, 2017). The controversy about DTC advertisements is far from abating.

Advocates for DTC advertising of pharmaceutical drugs claim that these advertisements are critical to disseminating information to the public, as well as for increasing doctor/patient dialogue about health issues and potential treatments. A study from the FDA in 2004 reported that 58% percent of people believe that these ads contained enough information for the individual to decide whether or not they should speak to a doctor, and 73% of doctors said their patients asked thoughtful questions believed to be a result of such advertisements. Additionally, spurring demand for health products are viewed by many as a necessary means of revenue for pharmaceutical companies. Developing a drug is a long and expensive process. The average development of a pharmaceutical drug costs a minimum of $4 billion and could be as high as $11 billion (Herper, 2012). Also, a patent for a new drug lasts for 17 years, and typically up to 10-15 of those years can be spent working with the FDA to get the drug approved to go to market. Successful DTC advertisements allow pharmaceutical companies to see a higher return on their investments before the patent expires and generic forms of the drug are made by other companies.

Critics of DTC advertising worry about these appeals doing more harm than good to the public, even if they help a company’s bottom line. They also worry about the supposed educational effects of these advertisements. In a survey of nurse practitioners published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, 74% reported having patients request inappropriate drugs and 43% felt pressure to prescribe the inappropriate drug. The worry is that the public is not educated enough to make the correct decisions about their healthcare, but persuasive DTC advertisements lead them to believe that they know what pharmaceutical products they need. While drug development is an extremely expensive and expansive process, critics argue that this shouldn’t be a reason to allow consumers to be fooled into thinking they know more than their doctors about which medicines they need. This consumer confidence is even implicated as a cause for rising health care costs. 37% of doctors surveyed by Science Daily, a research news source, said they often prescribe brand name drugs rather than the generic brand because patients demand the specific brand name they have seen advertised. This adds to increased health care costs due to the high price of brand name drugs.

Both the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association have made public requests to ban DTC advertisements. According to a study from the Harvard School of Public Health, 57% of adults in the U.S. support removing advertisements for prescription drugs from television. Does this apparent majority of medical professionals and the general public’s opposition prove that pharmaceutical companies do not ethically belong in advertising? Or are pharmaceutical advertisements a true benefit to consumer education while financially allowing for continued research and development of new drugs?

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are the ethical concerns with DTC advertisements?
  2. What values are in conflict in the debate over DTC advertisements?
  3. Is there a way to balance these concerns and interests beyond the requirements to list side effects and risks?
  4. What makes pharmaceutical advertising different from other sorts of advertising? Does this make a difference in the ethical concerns related to these messages directed at consumers?

Further Information:

American Medical Association. “AMA Calls for Ban on DTC Ads of Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices.” American Medical Association, November, 17, 2015. Available at:  www.ama-assn.org/content/ama-calls-ban-direct-consumer-advertising-prescription-drugs-and-medical-devices

Herper, Matthew. “The Truly Staggering Cost of Inventing New Drugs.” Forbes, February 10, 2012. Available at: www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2012/02/10/the-truly-staggering-cost-of-inventing-new-drugs/#69e1f9484a94

Horovitz, Bruce, and Julie Appleby. “Prescription drug costs are up; So are TV ads promoting them.” USA Today, March 16, 2017. Available at:  www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/03/16/prescription-drug-costs-up-tv-ads/99203878/

Kaufman, Joanne. “Think You’re Seeing More Drug Ads on TV? You Are, and Here’s Why,” New York Times, December 24, 2017. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/24/business/media/prescription-drugs-advertising-tv.html

ProCon.org. “Should Prescription Drugs Be Advertised Directly to Consumers?” December 11, 2017. Available at: www.prescriptiondrugs.procon.org/

Woodard, Larry D. “Pharmaceutical Ads: Good or Bad for Consumers?” ABC News, February 10, 2010. Available at: abcnews.go.com/Business/Wellness/pharmaceutical-ads-good-bad-consumers/story?id=9925198

Authors:

Sabrina Stoffels & Scott R. Stroud, Ph.D.
Media Ethics Initiative
Center for Media Engagement
University of Texas at Austin
November 30, 2018

www.mediaethicsinitiative.org


Cases 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 or educational use. Please email us and let us know if you found them useful. For use in publications such as textbooks, readers, and other works, please contact the Media Ethics Initiative.

Covering Female Athletes

CASE STUDY: Sexualized Portrayals of Female Athletes in Sports Journalism

Case Study PDF | Additional Case Studies


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Photo: Sports Illustrated

It is difficult to argue with the claim that female athletes receive less coverage than their male counterparts. In addition to considering how often female athletes are covered, journalists must also consider how they are portrayed when they are covered. Sports Illustrated, for example, is known for rarely portraying female athletes on its cover, but, on February 8th, 2010, Olympic skier Lyndsey Vonn was featured with the caption “America’s Best Woman Skier Ever.” Although this can be seen as a great moment for Vonn, and for female athletes in general, there were also those who took offense to the skier’s positioning in what some have called “a sexually provocative pose.”

The controversy surrounding the picture is two-fold. First, there is disagreement over whether the picture is or is not sexually suggestive. On the cover, Vonn is pictured on a mountain in a tuck position. As multiple commentators noted, male skier, A. J. Kitt, was featured on a 1992 Sports Illustrated cover in a similar pose. However, according to Nicole LaVoi, an expert on women in sports, the images of the two skiers differ in that Kitt is portrayed “in action,” looking forward down the hill, and wearing his helmet. Vonn, however, is clearly posed. She is obviously not moving down the hill. She is also facing the camera and is not wearing her helmet.

Those who find the picture to be offensive argue that it is just another of many examples of the journalistic tendency to portray female athletes as sex objects. Because women athletes receive less coverage, the instances where they are prominently featured are more significant. Portrayals that sexualize female athletes reinforce traditional gender norms and downplay female athletic ability. Photos like Vonn’s, they argue, may sell magazines, but they only work to increase interest in her body, not her athleticism.

Those who are not offended by the image either do not see any sexual connotations, or do not find the combination of sex and women’s sports to be problematic. Wendy Parker, a sports journalist, does not see anything provocative in the Sport Illustrated image, and she even points out that Vonn is fully clothed “from head to toe.” Then there are those who argue that it doesn’t matter even if it is a “sexy” picture. Sports Illustrated has a predominately male readership, so it may be a business-boosting ploy to promote reader interest in female competitive skiing. Additionally, female athletes have a right to celebrate their bodies without being told how to “behave.” As sports blogger Chris Chase asks, “Why can’t she be both the best skier in the world and really, really attractive too?”

Discussion Questions:

  1. What ethical values are in conflict with sites such as Racists Getting Fired?
  2. Do you agree with the “naming and shaming” approach to those who make racist (or sexist) comments online? Why or why not?
  3. If false accusations (such as that made against Rivera) could be eliminated, would such sites be ethical means of anti-racist activism?
  4. Do such crowd-sourced tactics stand a chance of creating a less racist society?
  5. How are such sites ethically different from in-person forms of activism such as picketing and boycotts?

 Further Information:

Austin Knoblauch, “Lindsey Vonn’s Sports Illustrated cover shot skis into controversy.” Available at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2010/02/lindsey-vonn-sex-sexual-pose-provocative-skier-olympics-winter-sexually-suggestive.html

Chris Chase, “Let the Lindsey Vonn Hype Begin: Vonn is Sports Illustrated Cover Girl.” Available at: http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/Let-the-Lindsey-hype-begin-Vonn-is-Sports-Illus?urn=oly-217525

Mary Jo Kane, “Sex sells Sex, not Women’s Sports.” The Nation, August 15-22, 2011. Available at: http://www.thenation.com/article/162390/sex-sells-sex-not-womens-sports

Wendy Parker, “A Truly Warped Way of seeing Women Athletes,” Available at: http://www.wendyparker.org/2011/08/a-truly-warped-way-of-seeing-women-athletes/

Authors:

Danee Pye, Ph.D., & Scott R. Stroud, Ph.D.
Media Ethics Initiative
Center for Media Engagement
University of Texas at Austin
www.mediaethicsinitiative.org


Cases 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 or educational use. Please email us and let us know if you found them useful! For use in publications such as textbooks, readers, and other works, please contact the Media Ethics Initiative.

Ethics in Public Relations

The Center for Media Engagement and Media Ethics Initiative Present:

What are the Ethical Challenges in Public Relations Practice?

Kathleen Lucente
Founder & President of Red Fan Communications

October 30, 2018


 


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After a successful and award-winning career working for IBM, J.P. Morgan, Ketchum Worldwide and other global brands and agencies, Kathleen Lucente moved to Austin just as the city began its meteoric rise as a hotbed for tech startups and investment. She is the founder and president of Red Fan Communications, an Austin-based public relations firm that has helped countless companies clarify their purpose, tell their unique stories, and establish lasting relationships with clients and customers. She serves on several boards and donates much of her and her staff

’s time to local nonprofits that have tangible impact throughout the community, including the Trail of Lights, the ABC Kite Fest, the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

The Media Ethics Initiative is part of the Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin. Follow MEI and CME on Facebook for more information. Media Ethics Initiative events are open and free to the public.


 

Ethics in Public Relations

The Center for Media Engagement and Media Ethics Initiative Present:


Ethics in Public Relations

Kathleen Lucente
Founder & President of Red Fan Communications

October 30 ¦ 2:00-3:00PM ¦ BMC 5.208


KLWhat ethical challenges await the public relations professional? Kathleen Lucente, the Founder and President of Red Fan Communications, discusses a range of ethical choices and challenges facing those in the public relations profession, including: ensuring that reporters are fair, just, and honest in their coverage of one’s client, dealing with inappropriate client relations, maintaining honesty and transparency between a client and agency, and the challenges maintaining your client’s reputation while also maintaining yours as an agency in situations of crisis. This talk will be of interest to students wishing to pursue careers in public relations, as well as scholars researching the practices and effects of public relations.

After a successful and award-winning career working for IBM, J.P. Morgan, Ketchum Worldwide and other global brands and agencies, Kathleen Lucente moved to Austin just as the city began its meteoric rise as a hotbed for tech startups and investment. She is the founder and president of Red Fan Communications, an Austin-based public relations firm that has helped countless companies clarify their purpose, tell their unique stories, and establish lasting relationships with clients and customers. She serves on several boards and donates much of her and her staff’s time to local nonprofits that have tangible impact throughout the community, including the Trail of Lights, the ABC Kite Fest, the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

The Media Ethics Initiative is part of the Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin. Follow MEI and CME on Facebook for more information. Media Ethics Initiative events are open and free to the public.


 

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