With advertising, more and more of the spaces of our culture are getting colonized with each passing day as commercial interests are intended on maximizing the consumption of the collection of commodities. It also often uses stereotype gender specific roles of men and women to intentionally or inadvertently promote sexism, racism, heterosexualism, ableism, ageism, etc.
The worst part is that individuals are reduced to their sexuality and sexualized female bodies serve as eye-catchers to attract attention of men to sell anything from deodorants, soaps, pencils, computers, internet packages, and hair gels. With ultra-thin or curvy girls and women shown as an emotional or sexual play toy for the self-affirmation or emotional pleasure of men, advertising promotes a negative message about body image to the average person and creates demand not on the merits of the products, but on the basis of skin show.
Advertising is considered to raise consumption and this industry has already developed into a billion-dollar business. However, most sellers use fraudulent and malicious claims are made to sell products and services. This approach of greed at the cost of privacy invasion is surely witnessing lower standards with each passing day. If that was not all, the fact that advertisers keep on reinventing themselves with no moral or ethical execution of responsibilities clearly suggests that the standards of product promotions are going down and consumers are getting tired and bored of their constant barrage of advertisements.
There is an expensive arms race with advertising for mature brands but they often tend to forget that their resources will be better spent improving positive experiences of the consumers with the products and the brand rather than spending millions of dollars for high awareness. In addition to these drawbacks, advertising is also criticized for storing and using personal or financial information of consumers. This may be done in the name of demand forecasting or creating equilibrium between demand and supply forces or to analysis better but the loophole is that some companies and service providers often sell this information to others and this may then be used for spam or unsolicited transactions.
Moreover, advertising is often ambiguous and different people can draw out different meanings and this could mean mass produced versions of individualism. It is also believed that some advertisers influence journalists and jockeys to shape stories to suit them. There have also been instances wherein negative and undesired reports were suppressed when there is a danger of order cancelations or a threat for the same. Furthermore, the media is often accused by critics of advertising for accepting advertisements that are not in their interest or interest of the general public. It is also believed that results and performances during exhibitions, shows, concerts, conventions, and most other events are often rigged or manipulated to attract and retain attention of the targeted audience or to please the sponsors’ interests and requirements.
Many consumer protection associations, environment protection groups, globalization opponents, consumption critics, sociologists, media critics, scientists, and others have opposed against these evils of advertising but the powers of money and greed and complete negligence of ethical values have been eroding the socio-economic culture of the world. The time is not far when advertising will be a thing one can associate with only a set of cooked lies and something that just cannot be relied upon.
In short, advertising that projects that consumerism is the path to happiness and governmental restraint of market excess a cause of our distress is a peril that comes with huge costs and best avoided. Unless the present-day approach to advertising changes for the positive, it is a waste of money.