Responsible advertising in Haiti
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Haiti’s advertising industry has sparked a lot of controversies within the nation in the past few years for its violations of ethics and disregard for the level of sophistication of its audience in its messages. At the local level, no legislation is set in place to protect this vulnerable population which, for the vast majority, is illiterate. Developed countries have established rules and legislation that protect consumers, particularly vulnerable consumers, from advertising’s potential harm. Little attention has been given to populations in developing countries, such as Haiti, where there is no control or regulation of advertising. In this paper, the author takes a look at the characteristics of the Haitian population and draws on examples from the local press and her direct experience as a professional in the field in order to illustrate the controversy that surrounds advertising in that country. The goal is to highlight the need for local practitioners to work towards industry guidelines that will allow for more responsible advertising in the country.