A critique on the impact of advertising in our society


A critique on the impact of advertising in our society. Consider visuals and verbal or written language. (1000 words) The impact of advertising


on our society is a fiercely debated topic, and has been ever since the conception of advertising in its most basic form. There are negative and


positive social and economic impacts upon society from advertising in its various forms. For instance, advertising promoting public welfare has a


positive social impact upon society, whereas advertising portraying women as sex objects has negative social impacts. There are also positive


economic impacts on society such as providing funding for the media and stimulating an active, competitive economy. There are a number of


proven ways to persuade the consumer that he or she needs the product being advertised. These methods of persuasion, instead of concentrating


on the actual product, usually concentrate on the benefits that will be brought to the consumer. These benefits may include the hope of more


money and better jobs, popularity and personal prestige, praise from others, more comfort, social advancement, improved appearance, or better


health. For example, an automobile advertisement, as well as mentioning the mechanical attributes of the car, would most likely focus on the


excitement, prestige and social advancement it may bring the buyer. This social advancement is very often sexual, or involving attraction of the


other sex- so the car advertisement may also mention the glamorous women/men that the consumer will attract with his/her fancy car.


Advertising has been blamed for a great variety of negative social impacts. One of the major criticisms received by advertising is that it


forces people to buy things they don\'t really need, often by projecting negative emotions such as fear, anxiety or guilt upon the consumer. It is


claimed that advertising plays with our basic human emotions and takes advantage of them, using them as merely another technique to sell goods or


services. Advertising also encourages people to buy products by making them think that purchasing and consuming are the major activities of their


lives. It is said to also evoke fears of inferiority upon the consumer by depicting the \'normal\' person as young, attractive, wealthy and


successful. This may encourage a person to act on his or her desire for success and, for instance, go out and purchase that particular brand of


make-up or deodorant hoping to emulate the seeming success of the person depicted in the advertisement. In opposition, advertisers state that


the public is intelligent enough to, and quite capable of, making up its own mind and will definitely not buy anything they don\'t want or need.


People are not inclined to be swayed by false claims that they need a particular product, and will usually be very discriminating in what they


take as being true, when it comes to advertising. In fact, advertisers would say that there are many positive social impacts on our society from


advertising. Advertising can be used to increase awareness in society about particular issues, and in so doing, becomes a form of education.


Anti drug advertising such as "It\'s OK to say NO", and drink driving campaigns are just two examples of how society uses the advertising


industry as a means to promote public welfare. Other forms of socially positive advertising include those advocating safe sex, thereby


considerably slowing the spread of deadly STDs throughout the community. As well as social benefits outlined in the previous paragraph, there


are economic benefits experienced by society, as a result of advertising. Without advertising, the media, including newspaper, television, radio,


etc, would be much less vigorous. Advertising provides revenue for commercial mediums which would otherwise need to be funded by the actual


consumer of these mediums. For example, a newspaper would cost up to three times as much money (since advertising provides two thirds of the


revenue of the print media), or all television, bar government funded networks, would be pay-TV (since nearly ALL revenue for television is


provided by advertising, while the consumer provides no financial support except for providing the service of watching the advertising messages).


So we can see a major economic infrastructure based around advertising, in which the big companies fund and subsidise the commercial media by way of


advertising. The price a consumer may have to pay to receive very cheap, or even free news and entertainment may include sitting through a