A Study on Perception of Trainers regarding Effectiveness of Training Programmes in Banking Sector

What’s Wrong with Misleading Advertising? - An Empirical Investigation

Rishi Raj Sharma1 and Subhash Chander2
1Department of Business Management, Guru Nanak Dev University Regional Campus, Gurdaspur, Punjab, India
2Department of Commerce and Business Management, Guru Nanak Dev University,
Amritsar – 143005, Punjab, India
1E-mail: rrishisharma@yahoo.com, 2E-mail: subh_chander@rediffmail.com


Advertising is widely criticised not only for the role it plays in selling the product but also for the way it influences our society. In the era of cut-throat competition, the advertisers resort to certain practices such as puffery, deception, etc. and this leads to misleading advertising. The present study examines the ethical issues involved in misleading advertising as perceived by the respondents. This study attempts to explore the various attributes that constitute misleading advertisement. The central issue of the ethical discussion is to determine the various factors revealing the perceptions of the respondents towards the issue of misleading advertising as a whole. The sample of 460 respondents was drawn from the major districts of Punjab, one of the prosperous states of India, and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect the data. The scale reliability was tested and factor analysis was used. The study reveals that the most of the respondents are well aware of the various unethical practices of misleading advertisements and perceive these as untruthful business. There are also a few respondents who feel that the exaggeration in advertising may be allowed as a permissible lie. The study provides an ethical implication to the advertisers, who are in the business of making profits, and leaving a word of caution for them to re-evaluate their communication strategies to come out with a new equation of advertising maintaining the balance of professionalism and ethics.

Keywords: Consumer Consciousness, Deception, Puffery, Permissible Lie, Misleading Advertising