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To Lie, Or Not To Lie. That's One Helluva Question.

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Posted 31st January 2011 at 12:25 AM by AnitaCross

Recently, a young warrior asked if it was unethical to lie in his sales copy. The knee-jerk reaction is, of course, it's unethical. Don't do it!

The post and it's topic was brought up last night at LMC, and it was quite surprising that it kept us busy for over an hour.

Seems it's not so black and white after all.

When a copywriter "feels the pain" that the product relieves, is it a lie if the story is fictional. For example, if a woman copywriter is writing copy to sell men a product to reverse a sexual dysfunction and tells that story from a first person male perspective. Is it a lie? (Yes, one of the lady copywriters in the room had this very situation!)

Or is it only lying when the claims of what the product can do are false. regardless of how the information is presented?

It was a lively discussion, to say the least. But what I found most interesting was that whether or not someone considered the above scenario lying, they all agreed that it was not unethical.

So it seems the litmus test for "creative license, or lie?" is pretty simple. Having bought the product, will the customer feel they got what they paid for? Or will they feel disappointed, and cheated?

Care to weigh in on the subject?
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