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Ad regulation & ethics

In recent years, health campaigners, and sometimes governments, have pushed to restrict certain types of advertising, from tobacco to alcohol to fatty or sugary foods. Controversial ads, or those making false claims, can also face regulatory sanction. Regulatory regimes vary from market to market. At the same time, there has arguably been a hardening of consumer attitudes toward advertising, particularly in online media. The rise of ad blocking is thought in part to reflect this trend.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

Jeremy Bullmore discusses people's tendency to automatically apply scepticism to any advertising that they view. He suggests that if advertisements were to convey their subjects realistically, they would then be misleading as the viewer decodes the message in a less positive light.
Research suggesting that bans can both increase and decrease alcohol consumption depending on context.
Five brand principles for brands wishing to find success in our current "post-privacy era".
Research into parents' attitudes toward marketing to children and the evolving media environment.

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