David Ogilvy, known as the father of advertising said “Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine”. The world’s first newspaper ad was published in 1650, offering a reward for 12 stolen horses and the first agency to launch a product was J. Walter Thompson on behalf of P&G in 1911 for their product Crisco. Advertising is a form of communication which encourages, persuades or manipulates an audience into initiating or continuing the consumption of a product or service. The purpose of advertising may also be to reassure employees or shareholders that a company is viable or successful. Commercial advertisers often seek to increase the consumption of their products or services through “branding”. This involves associating a product name or image with certain qualities in the consumers mind. Non-commercial advertisers who invest in the advertisement of items other than a consumer product or service include political parties, interest groups, religious organisations and governmental agencies. Non-profit organisations may rely on free modes of persuasion, such as public service announcements. Considering the significance of advertising in modern society, there should be comprehensive research for improvement in the quality and integrity of advertising in this country. The advertising scene in Pakistan has its share of misleading, untrue, immoral, derogatory and culturally offensive advertisements. The adverse consequences of such advertisements are unquantifiable but enormous. Such advertisements not only persuade consumers to make wrong and uninformed choices but also negatively promote people into accepting injustices inflicted upon them without protest. Research should analyse Pakistani advertisements and provide indicators which can be utilised for its improvement. The services of established researchers, media-men, advertising magnates and other stake holders should be used to accomplish this task on a regular basis. The focus should be the real and projected potential of advertisement in Pakistan, its place in the contemporary international scenario, advertising content in our cultural and social perspective, the need for censorship, creativity, quality versus efficacy, legalities, truthfulness pre-testing and brand development. This research should be available to all stake holders for the development of productive advertising Today the environment in the advertising industry is swiftly changing, becoming more digitised and is able to reach the consumer 24/7, no matter where he or she is. Modern advertising utilises a barrage of non-stop stimuli from text messages, website banners, pop-ups, television, flyers, billboards, unsolicited E-mails, company websites etc. Although this has increased the degree of choice available to consumers, it has also left them more compliant to messages which lack integrity. There is a need for further research, analysis and encouragement of ethical advertising. Marketers must be able to produce evidence which can prove any direct or implied claims their advertisements make and that their advertisements cannot mislead or be likely to mislead by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise. The adverse costs of such misleading advertisements are unquantifiable but enormous. Most developed countries have strict legislations which check and penalise deceptive advertisers. In 2010 the Government of Pakistan passed a law known as the Competition Act. Section 10 of the Act prohibits deceptive marketing practices which distribute false or misleading information. This has the potential to harm another party’s business interests and makes misleading comparisons of goods or allows the fraudulent use of other trademarks, brands or packaging. Deceptive marketing is a criminal offence under Section 38 of the Act and is punishable with imprisonment of a term which may extend to one year or a fine of twenty five million rupees. Since the act was passed, the Competition Commission of Pakistan has prosecuted 22 companies for violating the Act. Opinion making and consent engineering is a vital part of advertising which effects the society at large. This practice helps in the creation of certain mindsets therefore it is imperative that deceptive marketing is dealt with an iron hand. I will close this article with another quote from David Ogilvy, “Advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interest. It is much too powerful a tool to use solely for commercial purpose”. The writer is a Chartered Accountant and can be reached at; [email protected] Published in Daily Times, September 22nd 2017.