Researching Advertising Ethics in Turkey

The Turkish Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics Association (İGİAD) started the “Advertising Ethics Project in Turkey” in 2014 together with the İLKE Association of Science, Culture, and Education for revealing what the current situation is in the context of advertising ethics in Turkey through the “Advertising Ethics in Turkey” study conducted in the field of advertising ethics and how to find solutions to current problems. The goal of the project is to provide a critical view on the field of advertising. The project additionally aims to provide positive contributions to both the advertising sector and the social life of Turkey through this research that acts as a mirror held on the industry.


The Scope of the Project

Beyond the physical, psychological, and social boundaries, advertisements push moral boundaries while delivering the messages they want to convey to the target audience through the media channels. Public administrations use regulations and public authority, non-governmental organizations use volunteerism, and consumers use the power of preference/non-preference for the purpose of limiting advertisements so they don’t exceed moral boundaries. Competition among businesses who advertise has been shown as the cause of advertising that exceeds moral boundaries. Advertising agencies also show competition between the advertisers and the agencies to be the reason for a situation to emerge that actually shouldn’t while fulfilling advertisers’ requests by saying the advertisers are able to exceed the compulsory moral limits; the advertising agencies justify their immoral behavior by putting the responsibility on the advertisers. They additionally show the justification that ads that push the boundaries are more effective on consumers and consumers demand these types of advertisements. The media, which publishes prepared advertising messages, legitimizes its own behavior by stating they are only responsible for publishing and nevertheless run ads by reviewing them in the framework of specific principles. Consumers complain about ads that convey an ethical problem. On the other hand, using advertising and ethical words side by side is encountered as a surprising situation by many people. Based on the observations acquired during the research, most people can be said to not consider the idea of finding advertising and morality together. In order for the possibility of ads that have the power to transform society and that use media effectively to be ethical, an intellectual transformation and a number of applications are needed.

The Objectives of the Project

Advertising in Turkey is based on the idea that it has two complementary parts, advertising and morality, that will be able to coexist by studying morality. The required applications can be developed by the public administrations, non-governmental organizations, associations, and entrepreneurs who examine this research.

Şuayip Özdemir


Fikret Yaman