The ethical primacy of advertising rhetoric

  • Paulo Barroso Escola Superior de Educação de Viseu, Instituto Politécnico de Viseu
Palavras-chave: Advertising, ethics, mass-communication, rhetoric, secularization


What is the relationship between advertising and morals (this one as an object of ethical reflection)? Advertising does not depend on morality, but it can be moral or immoral. If advertising uses speech power to become effective, it is a rhetorical or a persuasive speech art requiring an ethical caution, because the goals are determined and do not justify the means. Advertising takes an ethical dimension, especially when it follows a cunning, fallacious or deceptive strategy. The topic of ethics is, sic et simpliciter, rational, dialectical and reflexive. Ethical issues are, as a rule, aporias. Thus, this paper focuses on a critical analysis of ethics in advertising and communication. The methodology is reflected in the conceptualization and questioning of advertising ethics as an aesthetic of rhetorical speech.


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Barroso, P. (2014). The ethical primacy of advertising rhetoric. Comunicação E Sociedade, 25, 360-375.
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