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Analysis Of The Intellectual Manipulation Of Ads

1115 words - 4 pages

Advertising as an influence, both negative and positive, on social constructs of body image has been the subject of debate about the responsibility ads have to their audience. Given that there are more effective means of protecting potential viewers from the negative aspects, ads, considered as art, should not have restrictions placed on them that would violate the advertisers' First Amendment rights.
Opposition to loaded, modified, or invented human forms that suggest restraining advertisers' creative freedoms may overlook the alternatives. Also proven to have adverse effects on an impressionable audience, violent video games “[showing] a connection between exposure … and harmful effects on children … qualify for First Amendment protection,” according to the Supreme Court decision (Brown v. Entertainment). Negative effects on body image to parallel the violent behavior encouraged in video games may be similarly counteracted. Charles Smith of Kansas State University suggests that “[w]ith a good parent-child relationship, most children can play a video game and will not become violent because of it,” (Smith). This in combination with the Court's ruling further suggest that “moral judgments about art and literature … are for the individual to make, not for the Government to decree,” and contradict suppositions that regulation of advertising is the best solution for its influence. Indeed some have picked up on this notion of militant hostility to advertising, blogger Tyler Lucille notes how ineffective such a practice is and offers advice saying “we should be teaching [youth] instead that comparison is the thief of joy (Lucille). Also speaking to an audience susceptible to harm from the media, the National Eating Disorders Association compiled a list of tactics for improving body image, none of which involve demonizing any form of media (Levine and Smolak).
Advertising possesses the elements of artwork and its developing mediums should be expected of the art-form. As “all the definitions [of art] offered over the centuries include some notion of human agency, whether through manual skills … intellectual manipulation … or public or personal expression,” and the three majors categories of art are "form, content or context” according to Dr. Robert J. Belton (Belton). The “human agency” of advertising is the freedoms the copywriters and artists have to represent their product in varying forms of media which has been inclusive of manual skills, intellectual manipulation, and public expression (“forms” such as but not limited to photography, commercials, and sales pitches, respectively). The “content” in advertising is almost exclusively used as promotion for commercial gain, but the presence of a message in creative language or imagery remains none the less. While most “primary context”, the authors' original intent, assessed in an ad is typically the hopes of profit, the “secondary context”, what an audience gathers, reflects the value in...

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