Sample Ethics Paper on Unethical Ads

Unethical Ads

The slogan “Cheat on your girlfriend, not on your workout” adapted by Reebok is both unethical and offensive. How do you compare a relationship to a workout? This advert portrayed the Reebok marketing team as being both careless and irresponsible. The advert falls beyond the limits of what can be considered ethical because of two main reasons. The slogan communicates an offensive message concerning both males and females that can be adopted by the society and affect relationships negatively. Per Stampler (2012), this advert encourages men to cheat on their girlfriends.

The slogan portrays men as being cheaters and unfaithful thus intended to blend well with this societal norm. This claim, however, is not the case as man men are the direct opposite. While the advert was aimed at pushing sales, its appeal and persuasiveness were questionable. Such trends against men as included in this slogan makes men a target of media misinterpretation (Misener, 2012). The advert promotes infidelity and should be banned.

Secondly, the slogan is very offensive to women to the point of commoditizing them since workout is a commodity with a price. The slogan has the ability to change the ethically acceptable values concerning women. Such irresponsible adverts could make immoral and unethical acts such as cheating become acceptable especially among the youth. A study by Awasthi (2017) found out that men exposed to media depicting women as sexual objects are more likely to perpetrate violence and assault against women more than those who are not. Additionally, the slogan is sexist and as such more likely to endanger women by making them potential targets of sexist comments. The adverse effects of this advert were well seen in Reeboks drop in sales by 3% while Adidas’ grew by 14%.




Awasthi, B. (2017). From Attire to Assault: Clothing, Objectification, and De-humanization–A Possible Prelude to Sexual Violence? Frontiers in psychology8, 338.

Misener, J. (2012, March 21). Reebok ‘Cheat On Your Girlfriend’ Campaign Gets Pulled For Obvious Reasons (PHOTOS). Retrieved from

Stampler, L. (2012, March 20). This Reebok Poster Tells Men To Cheat On Their Girlfriends. Retrieved from