My company recently got bought by a big corporation and they made us take an online ethics training course. We are an engineering firm doing business with the government. I got to spend an hour of my time on this, charged to you the taxpayer at outlandish rates.
Since you paid for this training, I thought you might like to see a sample question and the “right” answer. These are exact transcriptions.
Q: An 18-year-old actor who appears to be no more than 15 is shown reaching for a whole grain breakfast bar as she runs out the door holding a cell phone to her ear. A woman who appears to be her mother comments, “teen-essentials include more than talking at the speed of light.” This ad is not likely to be effective, but is [it] ethically acceptable[?]
A: While the teenager appears to be younger than her actual age, this fact is irrelevant if the product is appropriate for fifteen year olds. While it would be better to have a more substantial sit down breakfast, this ad is very likely within the zone of ethically acceptable. It contains true information and it is better for the teenager to eat a whole-grain bar than to skip breakfast.
It seems to me that anyone who does not know the difference between a nutrition question and an ethics question has no business selling an ethics training course.
Our company has a (physical) bulletin board where employees may anonymously post anything within the bounds of good taste. I’d like to tack up my screencap of this question with some suitable snark, but couldn’t come up with any offhand. Feel free to take your best shot. I’ve been toying with the outer limits of good taste on the bulletin board and would welcome any contributions that might help me push the envelope.