The Harmful Effects of Advertising on Society

8 August 2016

In today’s society many people see advertising as harmful in many different ways. With today’s society image is everything, and advertising uses this to their advantage. Advertising uses this as a way to make insecure people buy products they do not need. Many advertisements that are seen today on television, billboards, newspaper, and magazines are indeed harmful to our eyes and brain. Many of them make people feel like crap, that you don’t have this car or that house or that body. Advertising is harmful to society because of its limitations on women, it’s fostering of insecurity, and its promotion of materialism/consumerism.

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Advertisement is harmful to society because it limits women. Women in today’s society are under a lot of pressure, if it’s the way they look or what they are able to do. Advertising takes advantage of women making them buying items they do not need. Jean Kilbourne noticed an argument in advertising “that advertising often make, many of them insulting to women’s intelligence and self-esteem” (Kilbourne 457). This meaning that advertising on purpose make women feel pressured to do more because of what is advertised.

Gloria Steinem agrees with Kilbourne when saying “ad agencies are on the phone all the time pushing you to get their product in” (Steinem 150). This meaning that the power of having an advertisement in a women’s magazine is very important to push the reader to that product. Overall advertising is just trying to sell their product in any way shape or form no matter what lines are crossed. Advertising is bad for society because it miss leads people. Inside of most advertisements there will be an attractive women or a male with a hard six pack showing off the product.

This could make people insecure and gives them this urge to buy the product that are not necessary for an everyday life. As Kilbourne states that some advertising “dehumanizes and objectifies people, especially women” (Kilbourne 459). This means that with sexually themes in advertisement make women feel insecure, which is what advertisement want to do. Mark Mille agrees with Kilbourne when talking about a soap commercial he states “And yet there is not a trace of dirt in the vivid world of this commercial” (Miller 133). This meaning a commercial about soap did not show the product in use like most due, but instead have clean looking people in the commercial about soap to persuade people to purchase that product. Advertising is harmful to society because of the way in utilizes materialism and consumerism. Materialism consists entirely of physical matter that is the sole cause of every possible occurrence, including human thought, feeling, and action. Advertising has two orders of content says Fowls, the first is “The first is the appeal to deep-running drives in the minds of the consumer” (Fowls 541). This meaning that inside advertisements they try to get inside the head of the potential buyer.

When Miller says “These visual details imply that Gail is quite a powerful house-wife” (Miller 131). Showing a strong wife inside of the commercial is getting into the head of women. Showing them that they need to be this strong. Advertising uses materialism and consumerism in an inappropriate manner that is bad for society. All though many people think advertising is harmful others think it is good for society. That advertising is what creates the market and the demand for products. Without advertising the potential customer will not get informed about the products available.

An expert on advertising said, “Advertising is a tool of communication and helps shape the market” (Calfee97). This meaning that without advertising there would be no defined market and no stable companies. When a company is going into an unstable market their chances of successes are slim. Jib Fowls says “…Create ads more and more in the image of the audience motives and desires” (Fowls 540). This means that when creating an advertisement the goal is not to offend people it’s to inspire them to do more. Inside of advertisement people take it the wrong way then what the creator of it was going for.

Advertising is a way to communicate with the potential customer, but is bad for society. Advertising is bad for society because it makes people think less of themselves. When kilbourne says “There is no doubt that flagrant sexism and sex role stereotypes abound in all forms of the media” (Kilbourne 478). This meaning that the way the media advertises is a reason for eating disorders or alcoholism. Both of those are harmful to people and society. When Steinem says “It’s a difficult art, How many new adjectives can you find? How much greater can you make a lipstick sound? ” (Steinem 150).

This meaning that when advertising they try to find different ways to say something to trick someone into buy a product that is not needed. Having people being tricked into buying products that are not need is bad for society. Some people say advertising is good because it helps shape the market, but advertising is harmful to society because of it set restrictions on women. Advertisements set restrictions on women to play with their emotions. It’s fostering of insecurity makes women feel bad about them-self and insecure on the way they look. Last its promotion of materialism/consumerism.

Some may say that these are good advertisements, but to play with emotions and make someone feel insecure is not good for society. Making people think the way they look is going to make them successful or not is wrong. Advertising is important on shaping the market, but should not go as far as they do to persuade someone in buying a product. Works Cited Calfee, John E. “How Advertising Informs to Our Benefits. ” Common Culture: Reading and Writing about American Popular Culture. Eds. Michael Petracca, Madeleine Sorapure. 4th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2004. 97-109. Print.

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