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Introduction to the Special Thematic Symposium on the Ethics of Controversial Online Advertising


The field of marketing and consumer ethics has evolved considerably over the past 20 years, yet research on specific areas of advertising ethics remains limited. This limitation persists despite developments in digital technologies, and the impact they have had on advertising practice generally and online advertising more specifically. Online media are becoming increasingly populated by advertising content, as consumers continuously navigate ever-evolving mediascapes. Thus, there is a need to examine the ethical issues associated with the use of controversial advertising online, as well as consumers’ responses to such ads. This special thematic symposium addresses this literature gap, which is at the intersection of consumer ethics, e-marketing, and controversial advertising. The two papers in the special thematic symposium present new research in this area, along with some initial ethical implications as well as potential for future research.

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We would like to express our gratitude to the reviewers who helped with the reviewing process and provided constructive comments to the authors of this special symposium. Furthermore, we extend our appreciation to the editorial office for their continuous support. Finally, we would like to thank the section editor, Professor Thomas Maak, for giving us the opportunity to organize this special thematic symposium.

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Correspondence to Caroline Moraes.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Moraes, C., Michaelidou, N. Introduction to the Special Thematic Symposium on the Ethics of Controversial Online Advertising. J Bus Ethics 141, 231–233 (2017).

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  • Advertising ethics
  • Online advertising
  • Controversial advertising
  • Consumer ethics