1. The Strip2Clothe campaign may have been in questionable taste, but it did raise tens of thousands of pieces of clothing for the homeless. Does the end justify the means?
2. Virgin Mobile has a history of using cutting edge advertisements. It poked fun at religion in its 2004 holiday commercial Christmas-hanukwanzakah”, and it had the company’s founder, Sir Richard Branson, stand in a nude suit in New York’s Times Square as part of a “Nothing to Hide” campaign. Are marketing tactics that are tasteless and risqué also unethical?
3. Social awareness advertisements - Some years before, the Benetton Group S.p.A. developed the United Colors of Benetton Campaign, originally to draw attention to prejudice against black people. The campaign broadened over time to include other prejudices and consist of a series of shocking pictures published in unexpected venues. For example, there were pictures of a nun kissing a priest, a bombed car in a street, a white dog kissing a black lamb, an AIDS activist on his death bed in front of a picture of a crucified Christ, and a white girl portrayed with an angelic halo and a black boy with hair like horns. Is the Virgin campaign substantively different that the Benetton campaign of 1992?
4. What rule would you put forward that would differentiate ethical from unethical advertising campaigns?

In July of 2008, Virgin Mobile USA began a ‘Strip2Clothe’ advertising campaign. There are millions of homeless teenagers in the United States, and Virgin Mobile’s website said “someone out there needs clothes more than you.” Virgin Mobile invited teenagers to upload videos of themselves disrobing. For every uploaded striptease video, Virgin Mobile would donate a new piece of clothing. For every five times the video was viewed, an additional piece of clothing would be donated. Virgin Mobile said that they would screen all the videos. The strippers had tobe18 or older, and there was to be no full nudity. By July 12, there were 20 videos on the site that had generated 51,291 pieces of donated clothing.

  • CreatedOctober 28, 2014
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