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Truth in Advertising. Rhetorical elements in advertising communication and their ethical implications

Jerko Valković ; Teologija u Rijeci, područni studij Katoličkog bogoslovnog fakulteta Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Rijeka, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 226 Kb

str. 275-300

preuzimanja: 1.210



Determining veracity and authenticity in communication cannot be reduced to an examination of veracity or to an assertion that a message corresponds to reality; neither can reflection about truth in advertising cease upon completion of an examination of the veracity of an advertising message. Ethical reflection about veracity in advertising causes us to focus upon the total communication process, and takes into consideration the specificity of advertising communication. That which marks advertising specifically are its functions, and these are to inform and to persuade. Advertising is communication and by definition is persuasive, for the goal of advertising is to direct and lure toward a desired activity. Pursuant to the above functions, and other features as well, the author points out elements in advertising that coincide with Aristotle's rhetoric and promotional speech, with special reference to the ethical implications which ensue. Prompting the object to action, that is, to the purchasing and utilization of the product involved, which is the ultimate goal of advertising communication, should not bring into question or significantly endanger the consumer's right to choose. Thus, veracity in promotional communication is linked also with acknowledgement and respect of the participant in dialogue (the consumer), that is to say, with respect for the dignity of the human person. For advertisers this is a great challenge, but must also be the fundamental criterion of their activity.

Ključne riječi

veracity, advertising, rhetoric, ethicality, persuasive activity, emotional and rational elements

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