Pontifical Council for Social Communications President Archbishop John P. Foley has called on governments to regulate advertising, because "some advertising campaigns seem to focus more on human weakness than on human aspiration." He referred specifically to the degradation of children, the elderly, and other vulnerable sectors of society.
    Speaking this week at a symposium in Warsaw, he urged participants to analyse advertising campaigns from the standpoint of the seven deadly sins.
    Commenting on ethical and moral principles, Archbishop Foley stressed that "advertisers are morally responsible for what they seek to move people to do." Therefore, he added, the moral principles of advertising must be based on "the dignity of the human person and social responsibility."
    His message was not entirely negative. He recognised that advertising "can itself contribute to the betterment of society by uplifting and inspiring people and motivating them to act in ways that benefit themselves and others. I think that the moral power of religion in general, and of Christian revelation in particular, has been one of the great success stories of advertising over the centuries -- indeed for almost 2000 years. We call it evangelization."

10:48am 12/5/99 / Zenit


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