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Advertising In Today's Society Essay

1468 words - 6 pages

Advertisements clutter modern day society. It seems as if on every street corner, website, television show, magazine, or even car window, someone somewhere is trying to sell you something. Whether it be a product, a service, or an idea, businesses ploy manipulative and deceitful marketing schemes in order to persuade consumers into buying whatever they have to sell. While mass spread of these advertisements can be conducive to economic growth and possibly have other indirectly beneficial effects, there are a vast amount of advertisements that are sending destructive messages to the general public, as well as to the younger population of people. Harmful products such as tobacco, alcohol, fast food, or even potentially pharmaceutical medicines can be glorified, and encouraged for consumption. The negative effects these products can have are well documented, and it is concerning whether these advertisements should be more strictly regulated or banned from public display. Beyond physical harm, many advertisements can capitalize on the insecurities of vulnerable individuals, and can have a wide array of negative psychological effects including causing people to create a skewed body image of themselves, develop eating disorders, and even cause or worsen depression and anxiety. Many advertisements target children due to their innate vulnerability and innocence, generally preventing them from making sound judgments. While there are already many laws around the world regarding the restrictions placed on false advertising, censorship, and many other things, it could be argued that there are still a lot of negative outcomes from advertising, and stricter regulation is necessary.
It wasn’t until the dawn of the industrial revolution in the 19th century when modern day advertising began to reveal itself. Pears Soap was the first company to make catchy slogans and images for their products, for the purpose implanting them into the memory of the consumers. They became the first official example of branding, a technique that has taken hold of the modern world, and often influences people’s decisions and lives more then they know. He discovered several other techniques to manipulate public opinion through the use of popular celebrities vouching for their products, and by keeping in tune with the general preferences of the society at the time. As time went on into the 20th century, the need for mass marketing became suddenly more apparent. The industrial revolution progressed, and advertisers began to see people as objects waiting to be persuaded. They started to believe that they could win over any person into buying their products through their knowledge of the human psyche, and by capitalizing on natural impulses and mind states.
While there are several negative effects of advertising on society, some organizations are conscious of societal problems, and make public service announcements or commercials advocating people to eat healthier, exercise more, or...

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