Working Healthy

Publisher's Note: Advertising Image Is Unfair

Ad featured a disturbing photo of a manicurist at a table wearing a holocaust-type gas mask to call attention to the fumes of other products.

As business people and individuals, the question we are most often faced with is one of professionalism and responsibility: responsibility to our clients, employees, livelihood, industry … to ourselves. It is a question of ethics and how we conduct our business.

This sense of responsibility pervades this issue, both in what you will see and what you won’t. In content, the cover piece on additional services for the nail salon addresses the need, the responsibility of servicing a changing clientele, of recognizing potential shifts in the marketplace and adapting if necessary. This business attitude is emphasized in three other crucial editorials: When an employee must be terminated; when you are that terminated employee; and employment contracts as a way of avoiding both circumstances.

It is not lightly that I write about responsibility and ethics: this issue raised such questions for us when advertising material was submitted that we deemed inappropriate. The specifics: A company with a low-odor product felt the need to compete in a high impact, dramatic way with new, more aggressive companies sporting a similar product line. No problem. Any company has the opportunity to advertise their products and services as long as it is appropriate and reflects the style and integrity of this product, NAILS Magazine.

The problem was their approach: A deeply disturbing photo of a manicurist at a table wearing a holocaust-type gas mask to call attention to the fumes of other products, and to the claim that theirs has no such odors. The headline and copy for the ad were not only inappropriate but alarmist, preying on the valid concerns of nail technicians.

The decision not to run the ad was difficult: My responsibility is not only to readers and clients, but to an industry. What helped was the criticism of staff members and associates who each stated that such material did not belong in NAILS Magazine, that it ran counter to the basic principles of this publication.

The fact is that questions do exist regarding the health effects of fumes and dust in the workplace, questions that have not been ignored by NAILS Magazine and will continue to be dealt with ... but these and other issues like this must be handled with a professionalism and a sense of responsibility that is the basis for this magazine: to inform, educate and develop the well-being and stability of the nail technician and an industry.

That is our responsibility, as businesspeople and individuals.

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