Test Of Ethical Advertisements


Just coming off of the Super Bowl, there has been much controversy as to whether or not certain advertisements were appropriate or harmful to the general viewer.  While some may not agree with this method, there is something known as the TARES Test which helps to determine the “ethical worthiness of the message” in the advertisement.

Here are the questions the company must ask when following the TARES structure:

  • Are the Ad claims truthful?
  • Is the claim and Authentic one?
  • Does the ad treat the receiver with Respect?
  • Is there Equity between the sender and the receiver?
  • Is the ad socially responsible?


The advertisement which I choose to focus on was the Coca-Cola “America The Beautiful” Super Bowl Ad which has been the center of debate since the game.

Will It Pass the Test

  1. Truthful: I believe this advertisement is truthful in supporting Coca-Colas over arching goal: Uniting.  For years Coke has created commercials which symbolize a union between different individuals, and this commercial is no exception.
  2. Authentic: The advertisement is certainly authentic.  It shows how America is a huge melting pot, yet Coke wants to be a part of every culture.  The singing of “America the Beautiful” in different languages also shows unity in a unique way.
  3. Respect: Some would argue their is a lack of respect in the ad to viewers because it shows a gay couple.  In my opinion the commercial is not vividly promoting this life-style.  But I think Coke is trying to show a respect and appreciation for all individuals.
  4. Equity: Equity is certainly being exhibited in this preview.  It is being fair by showing all cultures in America and praising them.  While some people may view this offensively, they shouldn’t because this is the America we live in today.  We should embrace the diversity.
  5. Socially Responsible: This product is able to be purchased by all, all over the world.  The ad will make money, but it is also taking into account the interest of viewers.  It is promoting unity which I think is essential and a truthful concept needed to be grasped.

Concluding Opinion

This advertisement passes the TARES test with soaring colors.  Sure, there is some debate, but overall it should not be viewed as an offensive commercial and those who view it as such need a wake up call.


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