Advertising is usually seen as a great platform for economic growth. However, this is not without massive social costs.
Many industry experts and consumers believe that advertising is a medium of promotion that frequently uses psychological pressure and highlights feelings of inadequacy that in actual don’t exist at all. Moreover, it invades the private spheres of people and is all about cluttering of public spaces with advertisements seen all over hospitals, gas stations, airport lounges, schools, garbage cans, vehicles, and countless other places. If that was not all, it makes buyers more and more cognizant of their spending and “alters” their way of thinking in more than just a way.
Advertising encourages the demand of new products and services but the manner in which they are portrayed suggests that the users need to buy and use them to feel “high” and a wrong image of demands or mirage is created. In other words, advertising suggests that using a particular product or service can help consumers experience health, fitness, social status, reputation, acceptability, identity, rewards, comforts, happiness, and self-esteem and this approach to selling products is extremely harmful to say the least.
People watch television shows and listen to radio programs for the content and not for the commercials. Advertising dramatically increases the cost of products and services as it generally involves statements or appreciation of products and services by popular figures and celebrities that are availed at a staggering cost. In other words, the promise of consumption making someone irresistible is made and the emphasis of such promises in the recent times has quietly but steadily switched from offering ‘factual’ information to the symbolic connotations of commodities.
One of the biggest drawbacks of advertising aimed at young people and children is that it tends to increasingly reduce young people to consumers. Unhealthy habits are quickly passed on to as symbols of status and acceptability. High sugar and high fat foods that cause obesity are portrayed to young consumers as the “real or macho” products. For example-Cigarette and alcohol products are demonstrated as fashion statements and appealing to young girls and women. Linking sport heroes and other celebrities in television or print media promotions and glamorizing these products (that are shown without consequences) is a bad precedent for any society. Also, these televised programs often show lead characters abusing or being invincible to kill, harm, or disrespect anyone that is surely not raising the standards of ethics and moral in the young society.
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