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Debates on Advertising Essay

In the text , introduction to mass communication media literacy and culture, Stanley Baran states specific complaints about advertising. He states that advertising is intrusive , deceptive, exploits children, and demean and corrupts culture. Ads can be intrusive because they are everywhere and interfere with and alters our experience. It can be deceptive because the ads implicitly and sometimes explicitly says that it came improve someone’s lives through a purchase of a product. Ads also exploit children because they are targeted. There are ads that are specifically mind blowing go them. Finally, ads demanding and corrupts culture by appealing to human values and needs. Advertisers accomplish this goal by using the AIDA approach and consumer culture. The AIDA approach is used to persuade consumers and the consumer culture is used to impose new definitions that serve the advertiser and not the cultures important aspects of our lives.

The disagreements that are shown by Baran in Chapter 12 are legitimate. The arguments that are provided supports the complaints given. I believe the accusations that support advertising are tolerable. Advertising is everywhere and interferes with and alters our experience. Advertising is all over the world. Ads does not have to be actual billboards or commercials on television. The clothes that we wear and the products that we use are also advertisements. This is also called 360-marketing. Advertising can also be deceptive. There are many products in our society where it is supposed to change out lives. For example, “AXE” , a male shampoo, is supposed to attract more women if you wear it. These products can be deceiving to our culture because of this. The advertisers know that people in society want an excitement in their lives , so to improve that they create products that excite the consumers. I also think that advertisements do exploit children.

Ads specially create ads for children because they are the influence on their parents. This means that the advertisers will use the children to their advantage to get their products brought. For example , when children see a product that’s eye catching to them , they will beg their parents to buy that product which will eventually happen because the parents would not want to keep hearing their children beg. Lastly , advertisements does demean and corrupt our culture. I believe this is true because advertisements come about to seek products that we need. They attract us by producing products that we use everyday. For an example , we use soap everyday to wash our bodies. The advertisers will produce many soap ads to intrigue us to buy a particular soap. Also, producers create many soaps , with different scents to give us the idea that it will make you smell better which leads back to the idea of advertisements being deceptive.

This shows that advertisers do demean and corrupt our culture.The article “Boosting Smoking Among Children” supports the complaint of advertising exploiting children. In the article RJR Nabisco created a new campaign for its camel brand cigarettes. Anti smoking groups accused the company of attacking young smokers as they saw Joe Camel repeating the same path as to smoke go an” untapped market”. It was stated by Dr. Joseph DiFranza that,” children as young as 3 years old could recognize Joe, and more kids could identify him than could identify Mickey Mouse”(page 335). DiFranza researched that Joe camel was the single most recognizable logo in the country. This shows that advertisements connect to children because they can realize a character at the age of 3. The children do not understand what is going on , but the advertisers know that the parents will buy their cigarettes because of the children. Also , when the children get older , the camel on the cigarette box will be more common and if decided to smoke they would buy only that product because they are used to seeing it. The Ad Council and Media Foundation does challenge common practices of the advertising industry by creating “uncommercials”.

Uncommercials are commercials ,at no cost if used, challenge known actual commercials. In the article ,”Challenging Advertising: Ad Busters and Uncommercials” it is stated that ,”those who wish to use them to , as the Media Foundation likes to call it, “culture jam,” or challenge the prevailing commercial culture”(page 336). This shows that the uncommercials are used to show that the advertisements demean and corrupt out culture. This is done by showing and telling us that we need to buy a certain product to live. It also connects to the complaint that advertisements are deceptive. This is because seeing that we supposedly need a certain product in our life makes us want to buy the product not knowing that it is just for money.In the documentaries “Consuming Kids” and “Killing Us Softly 4” shows us the specific complaints against advertising. In “consuming kids” it was showed that children are targeted in many ways.

This connects to the idea that advertisements exploit children because in the documentary it is shown that the children do influence parents. For example, a new car was brought because the children were attracted and begged their parents to buy it because of what was inside. The parents do not realize that the children are why their money is spent on unnecessary things. In “Killing Us Softly 4” it was shown that advertisements demean and corrupts our culture because women are portrayed and used as an object to sell products. Also in the documentaries they tell the society how to prevent the unbalanced advertising.

In “Consuming kids “……. In “Killing Us Softly 4 ” lady name stated that the society should , ” become aware and pay attention , teach media literacy in school, protest and speak out about the problem , deface ads, and get involved and change the attitudes that are presented for us”. This shows that there are ways that we can maneuver around the pile up of advertisements. In conclusion , the advertising industries received many complaints on the ways they attack consumers. The reasons stated were because of advertisements being intrusive , deceptive, exploiting children and demeaning and corrupting our culture. AIDA approach and consumer culture helped these complaints conquer their goal. This created a controversy between industries and social groups. The social groups were the ones who complain about these problems.


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