I would definitely agree with Burnett’s statement that dishonesty in advertising can hurt a business. If a company lies in an advertisement, people will find out, and they will complain. They will try to obtain some kind of compensation or revenge for being lied to.
However, I think there are much subtler forms of dishonesty that businesses get away with. There is a lot of exaggeration in advertising. There are also many unrealistic portrayals of “what your life will be like” if you purchase a certain product.
The advertisements aren’t lying, but they’re still not being completely honest. This brand of dishonesty is understandable, though, because advertisements are geared to make the product desirable. Businesses can also assume that consumers will know when an advertisement is not to be taken literally.
Adults know when advertisements are exaggerating or using an unrealistic scenario, but children might not be able to make that distinction. Advertising directed towards children needs to be done carefully. Commercials for toys and candy are too manipulative. I consider it unethical to take advantage of the naïveté of a consumer through advertising.