Engineering Advertising - Where Should the Line be Drawn—

by Victor A. Perry, III, (A.M.ASCE), Civil Engr.; Bechtel Corp., San Francisco, Calif.,

Serial Information: Engineering Issues: Journal of Professional Activities, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 1, Pg. 67-73

Document Type: Journal Paper


The issues pertaining to ASCE's ethical restrictions on engineering advertising have recently been the subject of renewed interest and controversy. This attention to the Society's Code of Ethics has been focused by several recent United State Supreme Court decisions and by inquiries of federal and state regulatory agencies. To gain insight into these events, the historical development of engineering societies' code of ethics is examined from the point of view of their provisions on advertising. Summaries are then given of the contemporary cases both for and against advertising by engineers. The strength of the arguments on both sides indicates that ASCE's present policy needs to be rethought. However, until the questions surrounding proposals to relax its present advertising rules are studied further and dealt with conclusively, the Society should attempt to keep the line down on advertising where it is now.

Subject Headings: Ethics | Standards and codes | Court decisions | Federal government | Engineering history | High-rise buildings | United States

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