Advertisements Do More Harm Than Good
Is having widespread advertising good for a society?
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The levels of advertising are just too much these days. You cannot walk down the street, ride on a ...
The levels of advertising are just too much these days. You cannot walk down the street, ride on a bus, watch television or read your email without seeing advertisements. People shouldn't have to have their lives attacked by a huge quantity of information they might not want.
No-one is forced to put advertising on their property - for many companies it is an important part of their income. Football teams would have much less money if they were not sponsored. And no-one is forced to look at advertising - you can turn the TV off between shows, or just flick past adverts in newspapers. If you don't want to see the adverts, then just ignore them.
Advertising leads to many people being overwhelmed by the endless need to decide between competing d...
Advertising leads to many people being overwhelmed by the endless need to decide between competing demands on their attention – this is known as the tyranny of choice or choice overload. Recent research suggests that people are on average less happy than they were 30 years ago - despite being better off and having much more choice of things to spend their money on. The claims of adverts crowd in on people, raising expectations about a product and leading to inevitable disappointment after it is bought. Shoppers feel that a poor purchase is their fault for not choosing more wisely, and regret not choosing something else instead. Some people are so overwhelmed that they cannot choose at all.
Advertising has a positive role to play in modern society, helping us choose between competing goods. Many adverts are drawing our attention to products with new features, for example more powerful computers, telephones which are also cameras and music players, or foods with added vitamins. Other adverts try to compete on price, helping us seek out the cheapest or best value products. In most cases advertising does not make us go shopping – we would be planning to buy food, clothes, gifts and entertainment anyway. What advertising does is to help us make better decisions about how to spend our money, by giving us more information about the choices available.
People cannot just choose to ignore advertising, because advertisers use many underhand methods to g...
People cannot just choose to ignore advertising, because advertisers use many underhand methods to get their message across. Posters have attention grabbing words, or provocative pictures. Some adverts today are even being hidden in what seem like pieces or art or public information so people don't realise they are being marketed to. By targeting people’s unconscious thoughts adverts are a form of brainwashing that take away people's freedoms to make choices.
Adverts which use very sly methods like subliminal images (images which are shown so quickly the viewer doesn't consciously realise they saw them) are already banned. The other forms of advertising are just companies being creative. There is no difference from supermarkets being painted bright colours to make their food seem more appetising or even people wearing make-up to improve their image. People make unconscious judgements all the time, and we frequently try to influence these choices by the way we present ourselves. This isn't brainwashing, so neither is advertising.
Many adverts do more than just advertising products. Some try to make people feel inferior if they ...
Many adverts do more than just advertising products. Some try to make people feel inferior if they don't have the product, or if they have something which the product would change. Perceptions of beauty and fashion in particular have been terribly distorted. Many young people have low-self esteem, and lead unhealthy lifestyles because they feel they should be thinner and more attractive like the models they see in adverts. This leads to serious problems like eating-disorders and self-harm.
The media and celebrity magazines do much more harm, by mocking unattractive or overweight people, and glorifying models who are often dangerously thin. Adverts never criticise people - that would be terrible for the companies behind them. Their aim is to understand and provide what people want, and so their adverts only ever reflect what people think. If people's perceptions are wrong, then it not the advertisers' job to put them right, but politicians, the media and schools.
Advertising gives the impression, especially to children, that they can and should have everything t...
Advertising gives the impression, especially to children, that they can and should have everything they want. This makes people too interested in material things. People are becoming more selfish and obsessed with their possessions, and losing their values of patience, hard work, moderation and the importance of non-material things like family and friends. This harms their relationships and their personal development, which has serious effects for society as a whole.
Our society is build around the idea that companies produce things that people want, and this is what makes us prosperous. If consumers suddenly stopped wanting to buy so many products then what happens to the people whose job it is to make them? The economy will suffer terribly. Of course some people take materialism too far, but most people buy just what they need and then a little extra when they treat themselves. This is a much better situation than one in which people can only afford to buy the things they need - that would be a step backwards.
Advertisers don't have the good of society in mind when they do their work - they only care about ma...
Advertisers don't have the good of society in mind when they do their work - they only care about making profit. This means that they regularly advertise unhealthy or harmful things. Fast food adverts are a large part of the reason so many children are obese. The adverts just try to make children eat as much food as possible without any concern for the health costs.
Adverts which promote seriously unhealthy things are becoming very rare. Cigarette advertising is all but extinct, and alcohol adverts are being more restricted. With adverts such as fast food we see as well that companies are changing their message to promote healthier options. This is because it is bad for businesses to be viewed as harming children. Public pressure and successful regulation will always bring any advertising problems back under control.
Advertising gives an unfair advantage to big businesses. Small companies might have much better pro...
Advertising gives an unfair advantage to big businesses. Small companies might have much better products, but they cannot afford to advertise them as well and so people don't find out about them. This restricts the quality of products for consumers, and places a huge roadblock to the success of small businesses.
If there wasn't advertising then small businesses would have no chance at all to make their product well known. Adverts can actually level the playing field - if you have a good new product, and market it in a clever way then it doesn't matter how small your company is, you can still make consumers interested. The more you restrict the freedom of information, the more this helps the large companies who everyone already knows about.
What do you think?