(Souce: iandavidmackenzie)

We should by now understand that social media works as a double-edged sword. Giving extensive power that can either aid or tarnish the image of an individual or the commune.

Let’s look at some of the infamous social media disasters.
(Click here)

At the end of the day, social media is just a platform and technology that is a tool which does not have ethics. It is our moral compass that guides us on how we approach decisions when it comes to social media.

Watch Video Here
False advertising on social media boutiques.

Social media is a place where we can easily falsify what information is shared. Taking the latest US election 2016 as an example, where a series of twitter post trended that ‘Harambe’, the ‘shot down’ gorilla from Cincinnati Zoo, received up to 11,000- 15,000 votes on the election for president.

More information click here.

Social media has become a new battleground for businesses. One of the reasons social media is important is because of the highly customizable nature of social media ads partly because sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram marketing valuable, is the interaction you get to have with your customer base. However, not all firms have good reviews or even appear on the 1st page of your google search, thus they use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques to hide negative results, pay for ‘likes’ and fake accounts to post positive reviews.

Watch Video Here
Paid individuals (celebrities) did not label social media post as ads.

KFC’s attempt at publicly belittling Captain Crunch cereal.
(Source: Twitter)

It is impossible to say how far firms or paid individuals will participate in ‘Publicly disparaging other’ by spreading false rumours about another. Although there are legal frameworks in place that prohibits “unfair or deceptive” communications in advertising. There are several tactics in which businesses can still adopt and strive by behaving unethically or worst, many businesses are still unconsciously doing it, how? Companies may outsource their advertising to agencies who may not be trained and educated on the regulations for social media advertising.

Firms should educate employees and implement policies and appropriate procedures which governs the department that oversees what they are publishing on their social feed if they wish to not surface as the next case study.


Chelsea Varney. 9 Oct 2013.

Char Pagar. 11 May 2015.

Doug Criss. 10 Nov 2016.

Jim Barr. 28 Apr 2014.

John Crosetto.

Thomas Brown. 8 Sept 2014.


One thought on “Deception.

  1. Hi Mogan,

    I’ve learnt quite a bit on the issue of deceptive marketing through your article! As future marketers, how do you think we should go against the tide to uphold the ethical use of social marketing? The concept of marketing has transitioned to seizing opportune moments and telling customers what they want to hear, so much so that we tend to forget that we’re just trying to sell a good product.

    As a consumer, I have been led to buy products which turned out to be not what they seem. This article (1) explains the term ‘greenwashing’ in the cosmetics industry. Do you think ethical marketing could be happening beyond just social media? A company mentioned in the article even went as far to paste labels exaggerating the use of “organic materials” when in fact it contains just a drop. Would you think that truthful companies would lag behind?



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