Alfonso Méndiz Noguero. Madrid, IC-Media Net Publicaciones 2010.
By Fabrizio Piciarelli
"I don't see perfumes and creams, but seduction." This is the direct and illuminating affirmation of a marketing director of a well-known multi-national cosmetic company, with which Professor Alfonso Méndiz Noguero opens his book Values in Advertising: A New Ethical and Commercial Approach. A simple but greatly effective approach that contains the essence of advertising: you sell hopes and dreams, not only products and services.
But if advertising sells values, drives ideas and models, influences consumption, fashions and behaviors, then we are no longer talking about a simple commercial strategy. It is a public and social phenomenon:social because its effects have an impact on our society; public because everyone, for the better or for the worse, is involved. Advertising becomes therefore, not only a tool for sales, a lever for the marketing mix used to increase benefits. It becomes a social agent: a key factor at the core of our society with a strong impact, also in the educational, moral and sociological realms.
In this context, its of fundamental importance that professionals observe professional ethics, that they use their “persuasion power of the masses" with balance and a sense of responsibility. Alfonso Méndiz challenges creatives to build an ethics of advertising; an ethics based on the values of communication and on forming correct social behavior, rather than on business and manipulation driven.
It happens too often that communication enters our homes with negative patterns of life, based on competition, sex, lies, trickery, and above all, marking a deep materialism that tends toward an uncontrolled consumerism. It is necessary therefore to redefine the concept of ethics in publicity, extending the boundaries. But Mendiz goes further: "Ethics of advertising" does not only mean "do not do this negative thing", but also "do something positive", for example, educating the public about a type of consumerism that is healthier, responsible, less impulsive, and based on the effective satisfaction of real needs. Only then can you take a path where sales and profit can be developed with a more responsible approach that is more socially and ethically fair; defending the weaker and less protected, such as children and the elderly, for a marketing communication that is oriented towards serving not only the company but also the community.
Alfonso Méndiz continues his studies and reflections on publicity and media from the ethical perspective in his blog: alfonsomendiz.blogspot. It is a daily updated webpage that deals with commercial communication, with a constructive and proactive approach, aimed at re-launching the challenge of forming new ethics in advertising and mass media, where profit research may be accompanied by an affirmation of values.