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Yes, it is justifiable under certain conditions for public officials to mislead the public. It doesn't take an overactive imagination to think of circumstances where withholding information or purposely disseminating false information would be in the interest of national security and the public's safety. No, it is NEVER justifiable for advertisers to mislead the public about their products. Is it done? Sure. Not all advertiser claims and exaggerations are ethical lapses, however, such as when the makers of unsweetened wheat germ tell us their product tastes yummy. We all know they are full of crap, and little if any harm is done. But when cigarette manufacturers publish bogus study results or withhold information that may have saved lives, well, that's another kettle of rotting fish. Other contributors have said: *Speaking from an ethical standpoint, No!

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Q: Can misleading the public be justified as sometimes it occurs in politics or advertising?
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