Group 8: Joe, Alexia, JJ, Advertising

The article “18 False Advertising Scandals That Cost Some Brands Millions” published on Business Insider and written by Will Heilpern investigates different advertising lies that companies have told the public. Kellog’s, the largest cereal manufacturer in the world, has been caught falsely advertising their cereals twice in the past decade. The first occurrence happened when Kellog’s advertised that Rice Krispies boost your immune system by providing 25% of your daily antioxidants and nutrients.  A few years after that Kellog’s stated that their Frosted Mini-Wheats line improved “children’s attentiveness, memory and other cognitive functions.” (Heilpern) Kellog’s false claims that their cereals help boost health and brainpower in children goes directly against the ethical standards stated on Kellog’s website. They state that “If something does not feel or look right, each of us should feel empowered to act.” (Kellog’s Code of Ethics) Did not one person in their company realize that they lied to the public on their cereal boxes? It seems more likely that the higher-ups disregarded their code of ethics for larger financial gain. The article “The Story Of Ethics: How the media got moral, or not” states that “we have ‘natural’ duties to others ‘simply because they are people who could be helped or harmed by our actions.’” Kellog’s had the duty to tell the truth about their cereal because their consumers could be hurt by their false advertising. If Kellog’s had told the truth, consumers would have known they were not getting the sufficient amount of nutrients or getting smarter by eating their cereal.

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