YspeopleExplore tab


Stop promoting poison

Thumb angry biker showing middle finger with both hands 000078716059 small

About Subversive

Do you have your own gripe with your local or state government? And what are the streets like in your part of town, in your home state?

If you'd like me to fire a rocket up them, or a shoddy business, I'm listening! You can email me here.

So much of today's advertising is unethical - reflecting badly on the companies involved and business in general.

It also alienates customers.

Why on earth is it OK to advertise poison? Pic: iStock.

Why on earth is it OK to advertise poison? Pic: iStock

I have heard it argued many times that if something is legal, it must be acceptable to advertise it. I emphatically disagree!

I believe in the rights of people to access what they want so long as it does not threaten the safety and wellbeing of others. In that sense, I would describe myself as a libertarian.

I believe we should be able to smoke, gamble, drink alcohol, eat junk food and even consume narcotics to our heart's content – so long as our behaviour has no negative impact on any other individual. I believe in freedom of choice and I have always viewed prohibition as highly problematic.

But I don't accept that it is OK, or even legal, to promote any of these products.

What do you think? Are stricter controls needed on our advertising industry, or does the current system work?  in our discussion forum.

It is not legal to promote tobacco. Nor should it be legal to promote poisons such as junk food and alcohol, or social killers like gambling. I believe that advertising any of these products is immoral.

Junk food is a poison. Advertising poison for human consumption should be illegal, without exception.

Alcohol is not good for anyone in any quantity. While I would never prevent its consumption, promoting something that harmful is, at best, unethical. Gambling ruins lives and should be treated like gun ownership.

In my view, it is unethical to promote such products, to make the advertisements, to place them or screen them (if you are a media outlet). Indeed, I would argue that in the case of gambling, it is unethical to earn a living from it.

My 25 years in advertising enables me to debunk the bullshit argument that promoting these products is all about brand and nothing to do with consumption. Certainly, branding is a priority, but consumption and encouraging first-time behaviour are important considerations.

Should advertising of alcohol, gambling and junk food be banned?

Is the advertising of junk food, alcohol and gambling unethical?

Is it unethical to make a living from the misery caused by gambling?

Is it unethical to sell junk food for children, when nothing about it is good for them and any amount does damage?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Is there an advertisement you find particularly offensive? You can lodge a complaint with the  

Banner 2
| Your rating
No ratings yet

Related stories

Great TV from the 1960s.

Do you remember these classic TV shows?


Five of my all-time favourite TV shows from the 1960s still hold up today, thanks to cleverly written dialogue and entertaining...

Celebrities Nostalgia TV
3 days ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
Who is the real author of the inspirational Footprints in the Sand?.

The Footprints mystery

Most of us are familiar with the inspirational poem, Footprints in the Sand. But who is the author?

Culture History
3 days ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
Aussie country music superstar Keith Urban.

Dang! Here's what's wrong with country music


Millionaire metrosexual Keith Urban represents everything wrong with country music today, explains this comedian. Watch!

Culture Celebrities Music
6 days ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
What are your favourite moments from Rod Stewart and The Sopranos?.

Memory Lane: January 10

What landmark events happened on this day in history? Click through to learn more.

Celebrities Culture History
12 days ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
A beautiful setting for a picnic or a meal and a great night of music.

Swan Valley winery perfect for a twilight concert

Upper Reach Winery, already a favourite spot for a tipple, gets even better in summer when it runs four twilight concerts.

Western Australia Wine Drink Music
14 days ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
The cast of the Sopranos (HBO Entertainment).

The greatest TV box sets of all time

Whether you have some extra time over Christmas, or need a last-minute gift, you can't go wrong with these.

Celebrities TV
24 days ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
Terry Crews on Good Morning America.

Why has Terry Crews been abandoned?


One Hollywood victim is being ignored amid the recent allegations of sexual assault in the industry and the #metoo campaign....

Movies TV Celebrities Social Issues
About 2 months ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
Jason Bateman plays Marty Byrde in Netflix's Ozark.

Three BIG reasons to get Netflix

These three original programs alone are a rock-solid reason to tune in to Netflix.

Technology Celebrities TV
About 2 months ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
Can you guess who I am.

Who am I? Guess correctly to win a bottle of wine!

We have a new YsFriend submitting clues for this week's Who Am I?. Four-time winner John Lannen has compiled a doozy. Can you...

Politics Music TV Movies Celebrities
2 months ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
Tom Hardy in Taboo.

Five great TV dramas you may have missed


With the Christmas TV silly season coming up, why not track down these five brilliant dramas streaming now?

Celebrities TV
2 months ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
Trending stories
When it comes to great bloggers you can connect with, this list has you covered.

20 mature bloggers worth following

Looking for Australian...

(Entertainment & Culture) 10 months ago

BMW delivers a drive in its purest form

Pure {adjective}: not mixed...

(Pastimes) 4 days ago

Watch: Kitty Flanagan on panda porn

Should we be worried about...

(Entertainment & Culture) 7 months ago
Top Indonesian chef Chandra Yudasswara will be cooking up a secret storm for Taste Great Southern.

Celebrity chef set for a Secret Affair in Great Southern

Take one of Indonesia's top...

(Epicure) 3 days ago
A pleasure to drive.

Review: 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE

This seven-seat SUV market,...

(Pastimes) 7 months ago
Weekly Poll
Haiku of the week
Memory lane