YspeopleExplore tab



Stop promoting poison

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? Have your say 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 Advertising Standards Bureau here. 

Banner 1
| Your rating
No ratings yet

Related stories

Check out some of the weirdest videos YouTube has to offer.

Strangest YouTube videos you'll ever watch


Kill some time with these oddball videos. Don't say we didn't warn you though, they're weird!

Technology Humour
Over 1 year ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest minds we have ever seen.

Stephen Hawking's humour out of this world


He may have been one of the most brilliant minds of modern time, but Professor Stephen Hawking also had a wicked sense of...

Movies TV Science Celebrities
Over 1 year ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
Oh how TV has changed!.

Proof they don't make TV like they used to


Be amazed as Game Of Thrones gets the '90s treatment.

TV Humour Nostalgia
Over 1 year ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
Ever had a brainwave like this? Picture: Shutterstock.

Mindblowing shower thoughts worth sharing

You know those flashes of brilliance you have in the shower, or while just getting dressed? Here's some of the best.

Culture Technology Community Humour
Over 1 year ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
Don Bradman - number 2?.

The poet who beat Don Bradman to No.1

When it comes to great Australians, you don't get many that are more true blue than Don Bradman. Or do you?

Culture Books Sport Australia
Over 1 year ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
Feminist Germane Greer is on the money.

I'm with Germaine, the ‘me too’ movement's crap

Germaine Greer’s response to the ''me too'' movement was swift, precise, and spot on. Here's why.

Relationships Social Issues
Over 1 year ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
Comedic actor Leslie Neilsen's grave stone is a beauty.

We're all just a little dash between two dates

But there are some who get creative with their grave stones, leaving memorable and funny epitaphs.

Relationships Humour Health
Over 1 year ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
You better Belieber it! Justin Bieber is every where.

Calling all pranksters, I need your help


I love a good prank or practical joke -- and pulled one on a colleague this week.Enjoy a giggle, then hit me up with more ideas.

Relationships Community Humour
Over 1 year ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
Coffee and a book, what could be better? (Image: Shutterstock).

Books recommended by you, for you!


Your suggestions for must-read books!

Culture Books
Over 1 year ago
(Entertainment & Culture)
Putting your phone away while eating with someone is basic etiquette (Image: Shutterstock).

We should all embrace basic etiquette

They are the social rules that keep the world ticking over nicely. What's important to you when it comes to basic etiquette?

Relationships Community Social Issues
Over 1 year ago
(Entertainment & Culture)

Message board

Derek, about 1 year ago:
I am great
George, about 1 year ago:
What's up Thomas?
George, about 1 year ago:
Messages are now updated in real time on other browsers.
Thomas, about 1 year ago:
Thomas, over 1 year ago:
DJC, over 1 year ago:
George, over 1 year ago:
Message board active from June 2018

Have your say!

Your Great Australians

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) Over 2 years ago
They may be hideous, but geez, some toby jugs are valuable.

Is your toby jug worth a fortune?

Did you know that some of...

(Nostalgia) About 1 year ago

What is Australian culture?

I see nothing that makes...

(Entertainment & Culture) Almost 2 years ago
The views alone are worth visiting Laputa for.

Perth's Laputa will not do a buffet as you know it

New player Laputa will...

(Epicure) Almost 3 years ago
JB Hi-Fi is on the money when it comes to customer service.

JB Hi-Fi Vs Harvey Norman

When it comes to comparing...

(Money & Business) Almost 3 years ago
Weekly Poll
Photographic memories
It's 35 years since the Ash Wednesday bushfires in South Australia and Victoria claimed 75 lives and more than 2500 buildings.