Crossing the Moral Minefield

By Dignam, Conor; McGill, Trisha | Marketing, June 22, 1995 | Go to article overview

Crossing the Moral Minefield


Dignam, Conor, McGill, Trisha, Marketing


A call for 'moral marketing' has led to demands for advertisers to boycott controversial TV.

Thirty-three major UK advertisers, including Mars, Tesco, and Barclaycard, last week found themselves accused of "immoral marketing" when their ads were shown during Channel 4's screening of the controversial film The Last Temptation of Christ.

The broadcast provoked one of the largest protests from viewers ever recorded, with almost 6000 complaints to Channel 4.

It led to an early day motion being put to the House of Commons by a cross-party group of MPs, who not only condemned the channel for screening the film, but attacked the companies which had shown their ads around it. The MPs demanded those advertisers "review urgently" their advertising policy.

The realm of the censors

According to Channel 4, many of the calls received were part of an organised campaign set up by members of the National Listeners and Viewers Association, formerly headed by Mary Whitehouse, the Roman Catholic journal Universe and a number of Muslims.

Broadcasters are used to dealing with the brick-bats of angry viewers and pressure groups, but for advertisers, who try to protect their brand from damaging associations, the resulting publicity is an anathema.

In the US, there is a growing trend for protest groups to target advertisers who promote their products around apparently 'immoral' programmes. And many of these groups are discovering that mainstream companies, keen to preserve the value of their brands, are more likely to compromise than enter a bitter contest over morality.

In the latest controversy, the influential right wing American Family Association took out ads in the New York Times urging consumers to boycott Unilever's products.

NYPD too Blue?

The protest centres on the company's advertising policy, including advertising during the cop series NYPD Blue, which the group claims has "opened the doors to sexual nudity on prime-time TV".

Unilever says it has no plans to change its policy but the AFA has a record of winning its battles, including forcing Pepsi to axe a multi-million dollar campaign in the late 80s, featuring pop singer Madonna, after accusations of blasphemy.

Now, leading UK companies such as Mars, Barclaycard, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Peugeot, BP, Tesco and Wilkinson Sword, all of which advertised on Channel 4 during the screening of The Last Temptation are finding themselves at the receiving end of the same warning of consumer retribution delivered to Unilever in America.

Conservative MP Michael Alison, spokesman for the Church of England in the House of Commons, who tabled the motion, says many people are often revolted by much of modern television. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Crossing the Moral Minefield
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.