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Week 10 - Arrington.docx

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Philosophy 2730F/G
Ryan Robb

Arrington 11/28/2012 5:33:00 PM Lecture 10 Arrington  The moral implications of „puffery‟ in advertising  The point: o There is basically nothing immoral with respect to the common exaggerations in advertising, since they‟re not intended to undermine individual autonomy  The strategy: o Part I: Define „puffery‟, then briefly outline the standard arguments in favour of and against, the practice  The question we are left with at the end of this analysis is whether advertisers provide information, or create desires o Part II: Outline the four components of autonomy, then consider whether puffery violates any of them – it does not  I. Puffery; for and against o Puffery – “the practice by a seller of making exaggerated, highly fanciful or suggestive claims about a product or service” (p. 409) o Opinions of puffery:  Advertising industry: suggests that puffery is exploitative and manipulative, with respect to the treatment of consumers  Businesses – advertisements do not manipulate, they provide consumers with information with respect to the things that consumers want  Critics – advertising has little to do with the provision of information, and is instead intended to create consumer desire for the product in question o Does puffery in some way amount to more than the provision of information, instead altering the consumers state of mind such that they are no longer autonomous?  II. The Four Elements of Autonomy that could be Undermined by Advertising o The 4 central concepts involved in individual autonomy:  1) Autonomous Desire
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