Sample Leadership Studies Paper on Ethics and Cultural Competency in Design

Two of the main aspects that advertisers need to consider when creating advertisements are ethics and cultural diversity. Cultures are diverse and have different values; hence, one advertisement may fit one case but not another. When it comes to ethics, advertisers should not reap profits while harming customers.

In 2017, Dove, a cosmetics company, advertised a product, “Before & After,” showing an African-American woman turning into a white one after using their product (Mertes, 2019). In doing so, the advertisement painted the dark skin as being dirty, which many considered to be quite offensive towards the black people. Cultural interactions have led to the creation of new ones and the modification and eradication of some established cultures, although some have endured (Agyeman, 2012). These cultures have different beliefs; thus, while an advertisement may appeal to a particular audience, it may be offensive to others.

Sometimes, advertisers tend to be not only insensitive but also misleading, as was the case with Dove’s advertisement, which is unethical. It is impossible to turn a black person into a white one using any product. Therefore, the corporation misrepresented the product. Those behind such actions do not usually seem to care about the ethical ramifications of their works; they only care about making sales (Sgarro). Marketers should ensure that they are ethical in their dealings (Mertes, 2019). They should not misrepresent their products because doing so may end up harming the users. For example, lying about the ingredients of a product may lead a person to consume an allergen, thus suffer a severe allergic reaction.

Globalization has enabled companies to venture beyond national borders but introduced some cultural issues that need to be considered in advertising. Cultures are diverse; hence, organizations need to be mindful of the contents of their advertisements to avoid offending potential customers. Embracing ethical advertisement and being culturally conscious could eliminate the chances of offending clients.



Agyeman. J. (August 14, 2012). Cultural competency: towards culturally inclusive practice. Retrieved from cultural-competency-towards-culturally-inclusive-practice/

Sgarro. V. (August 13, 2018).What are “ethics in design?” Retrieved from

Mertes. A. (March 18, 2019).12 offensive advertisements your business can learn from. Retrieved from