This thesis examines a selection of promotional material from the five largest, development oriented non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in New Zealand. A variety of investigation techniques have been used to assess the ethics of the advertising practices of World Vision, Save the Children Fund, Christian Children's Fund, Tear Fund and Christian World Service. Each NGO is placed in its appropriate social and historical context. These organizations not only provide aid but also produce images of the Third World. A content analysis is undertaken of 655 promotional images, followed by a more detailed semiotic investigation of three case studies. Areas where the strategies of particular agencies are inconsistent with various advertising standards and recommendations are identified. This thesis concludes with general recommendations of ethically appropriate techniques in charity advertising.