Ethics vs. Effectiveness
With Fear Appeal in
Public Service Announcements
Dr. Keri Bodensteiner
April 23, 2001
Recently, within modern advertising, the use of emotional appeal has been an issue of growing interest in both the advertising industry as well as the consumer public. Questions have arisen regarding the reason for its use and its ethical boundaries. Playing on the emotions of the general consumer public through advertising is considered by many to be very unethical. Furthermore, the advertising industry has started a trend that involves playing on the emotions of the consumer, specifically the emotion of fear. Obviously, in an effort to try and sell a certain product, it would have to be considered at least somewhat unethical to use consumer emotion as a means to sell that product. However, there is another form of advertising that has noticed the effects of emotional appeal, and now it too has followed suit. This other branch is known as the “Public Service Announcement.” Public Service Announcements, or PSAs are not for profit messages for the benefit of the gene!
ral public. The purpose of individual PSAs can range from an anti-dr
Furthermore, I will present my own opinion and evidence as to why, though unethical, the use of fear appeal should be used in the instance in which I present. As it is common knowledge that there is no cure for the virus, the PSA allows the audience to associate AIDS with death, therefore being the disturbing factor of pain. One article found described a campaign used to promote condom usage among sexually active people, sort of the "seat belt in bed. ug campaign to advising women to get mammograms to prevent further growth of breast cancer. aunova Truman State University Library. First, they claim that emotion can be measured in valence, which separates positive emotion from negative emotion. " Using special camera angles and music, it showed a man returning home after a night out.