Integrity in Advertising

Advertising can have integrity. It is certainly possible to advertise without annoying people, without manipulation, without lying, and with respect.

Here are some examples.

Search ads

Many of the advertisements that we see on the side next to search results from Google and other search engines are generally not annoying. They are about things you are interested in, and that you are interested in at the particular moment you see them, as they are directly related to what you searched for. They don't move in all kinds of ways to draw your attention, and they don't need to, because you know they are there, and advertisers know you will check them out if you're interested.

These search ads at the side are useful and appreciated, especially when you're looking to buy something.

Search ads that appear on top of the normal search results are another matter. These are demanding to receive more attention than deserved (from the point of view of the user), and thus are annoying.

While the format of search ads is appreciable, it must be noted that these are known to sometimes contain messages with fraudulent intent.

Amazon recommendations

Amazon on its website displays recommendations based on your past interests, and also shows products that other people bought, who were interested in the product you're looking at.

Just like with Google's search ads, these are useful, and do not feel manipulative.

Websites can put various kinds of links to products on Amazon on their websites, and get a percentage of sales. When these links are to specific products, and related to the subject on the webpage, these can be very useful for people who want to go deeper into that subject.

E-mailing without spamming

Regardless of legal regulations, people will consider e-mails from companies that are not the result of some kind of request to be spam. To have integrity, a company needs to make sure that people do not get e-mails without having confirmed that they wanted these.

So, no newsletters to people who didn't request a newsletter. No updates about new products to people who did not check a checkbox with something like "agree to receive updates about new products." No e-mails for charities, just because a company believes they are good, but where recipients have not agreed to receive such e-mails.

Unsubscribing should be easy and simple.


People Don't Hate Advertising; They Hate Bad, Intrusive And Annoying Advertising