Ethics - Role Model Integrity Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Conversely, the individual with integrity understands first, that moral issues never hinge on gender and that casual sex cannot be moral for one person and immoral for another person based on gender, and second, that in any case, a woman's prior sexual history has absolutely no bearing on his obligation to be truthful in expressing his intentions.

Another illustration of integrity in large groups is evident in sentiments about racial equality. Typically, most members of minority races are much more active in and concerned about affairs that affect their racial group specifically.

While they may passively agree that all other racial minorities have the same rights and social concerns, most individuals devote their time, energy, and resources to the promotion of equality for their race rather than for all minority races equally. The individual with integrity understands that racism and inequality are equally important issues regardless of which particular group is subjected to racism and is equally committed to the advancement of all minorities rather than more to the interests of his own group.

Integrity and Commercial Advertising:

The commercial use of recognizable celebrities in connection with product advertisement represents the antithesis of integrity. In principle, celebrity product endorsements are fundamentally dishonest because the advertiser is simply exploiting various phenomena of human psychology and the impulse to identify with and emulate high-profile individuals (Belch & Belch, 1998; Howard, 2005). Celebrity product endorsements do not represent instances where a high-profile individual who actually uses a particular product receives compensation for publicizing that after the fact.

Instead, in the typical scenario, product manufacturers approach the celebrity's business representative with endorsement offers and the business representative recommends whichever offers are in the best financial and public image interests of the celebrity (Ogilvy, 1990). Any other connection between celebrity spokespeople and the products to which they sell their names is almost always completely illusory (Howard, 2005). Integrity in this context might require a celebrity to limit endorsements to products and services the individual genuinely used and appreciated before any endorsement offers or to limit his involvement to indirect association instead of outright endorsement of the product. Likewise, personal integrity would prohibit any celebrity from allowing even his name (alone) to be used to promote any product or service that he believes is immoral.

On the other hand, where public figures and other high-profile individuals fail to uphold values or respect the laws of society is only a violation of personal integrity to the extent they have represented that they espouse those values. Therefore, the same overt act can violate integrity in certain circumstances and actually be a manifestation of integrity in others (Rosenstand, 2008). For example, if Michael Phelps had publicly proclaimed himself to be an advocate against drug abuse, then the recent revelation that he apparently smokes marijuana would violate integrity on his part. However, had he never publicly expressed any such position, the issue is integrity-neutral (Rosenstand, 2008) and the decision merely a matter of practical inadvisability for his endorsement and maybe his swimming career.

Rickie Williams, is a talented NFL running back who actually retired from football prematurely because he refused to stop smoking marijuana on his own time because he honestly believed that as long as he never drove under its influence and restricted his marijuana use to his private life, it was simply none of anybody's business.

Eventually, he had no choice but to return to the league under its conditions because he would have had to return millions of dollars in prepaid bonuses and salary otherwise (Halbert & Ingulli, 2008). Therefore, in Rickie Williams' case, his choice to walk away from fame and fortune instead of capitulating to rules that he believed were arbitrary and unfair actually demonstrated considerable integrity rather than its converse. Ultimately, integrity does not define specific values; it merely is a measure of the consistency between the values and beliefs of the individual and his outward behavior.


Belch, G, Belch, M. (1998). Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing

Communications Perspective. New York: Irwin/McGraw-Hill.

Halbert, T., Ingulli, E. (2008) Law & Ethics in the Business Environment. Cincinnati: West Legal Studies. Howard, M. (2005). We Know What You Want: How They Change Your Mind. New York: The Disinformation Company

Ogilvy, D. (1990). Ogilvy on Advertising. New York: Vintage Books.…

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