This paper talks about the pros and cons of advertising and if it is a waste of society’s resources or not. Previously, much emphasis was not being given to advertising and the marketers used the strategy of market aggregation but in today’s world, the concept has changed and the demands of the society vary greatly because of which the advertisers have redesigned their marketing strategies in order to crater to their target market well. Media has great influence on the society and the marketers use advertising as their tool to persuade the consumers to purchase their products.
Since advertising has a profound impact on the way the people understand life and their values, there are many things that the marketer must consider while promoting their products. Advertising can be simple as well as complex based on the product or service that is being advertised and it can be done on a small as well as on a large scale. To advertise, many kinds of media can be used depending on the nature and the complexity of the product. Similarly, advertising can be done for programs, causes and institutions as well besides which political advertising is also done.
Since it has an indirect yet a very powerful impact on the society, ethics in advertising should always be ensured. Advertising has both pros and cons that have been discussed below. A lot of resources are consumed when advertising is done and today, it is being done everywhere and it is very difficult for the people to escape from its influence. Pros of advertising People who criticize advertising say that it is a waste of time and money and it corrupts the individuals and the society.
However, advertising also has a significant potential for good and some of the benefits of advertising are mentioned below. Economic Benefits of Advertising Advertising contributes to the human development if it conforms to the moral standards and today, it is the best tool for utilizing the resources to respond to the socio-economic needs of the society. Advertising informs the people about the products that are available for their consumption based on which they can make their purchase decisions. Goddard, Lipczynski & Wilson 2009).
Benefits of Political Advertising Political advertising contributes to democracy as well as it helps in economic well being of the society. It can contribute the society by letting the people know about the ideas and proposals of the parties and the new candidates who were unknown to the public previously. Cultural Benefits of Advertising Since advertising has a great impact on the media, it has the ability to exert positive influence on various decisions related to the media.
Material that is intellectual and is of moral quality should be shown to the public in order to make the society better and to contribute in a positive manner. Moral and Religious Benefits of Advertising Companies are not the only ones that use advertising to market their products but advertising is also used by social institutions that also include the religious institutions that communicate messages that are not just helpful and constructive but they are also beneficial for the society and they help in motivating the people. Cons of advertising
Despite of the fact of many positive areas of advertising, there are some grey areas of advertising as well. However, it would be more appropriate to say that there is nothing good or bad about advertising but it is all about the way it is being done. This tool can be used in a positive as well as in a bad way and the way in which it is used is what determines its pros and cons. Advertising harmful goods or making false assertions to exploit the human tendencies is not a good thing to do because this harms the society. (Jensen & Waldman 2005).
Economic Harms of Advertising When the advertisers withhold important facts and misrepresent in the advertisements that are aired or are published in the print media, they tend to betray the people. Mostly, the advertisers not just use advertising only to inform the consumers about the product but also to persuade and to motivate them to purchase the product. Moreover, the brand related advertisement that is done can be creating serious problems as the advertisers might motivate the people to buy the product on the basis of the brand or status.
It can act as an abuse for the humans and can harm the dignity of the people especially when it influences the attitudes and the values of the people through communications media. This affects the developing countries the most where most of the people are poor and these people are unable to buy everything but since advertising creates artificial wants, people are persuaded to buy the products. This makes the poor waste their resources instead of focusing only on the needs they really want to fulfill and the ones that are genuine because of which development falls behind.
Governments that try to develop market economies find it difficult to function well. Harms of Political Advertising Although political advertising supports the governments in democracy but it also serves as an obstruction since the costs involved with advertising limit the political competition. Besides this, the politicians might also tend to distort the image of the other candidates by harming their reputation. Cultural Harms of Advertising The end result of advertising can be a corrupting influence on the cultural values of the people and it can harm the economic condition of the country.
The main concern of the developing nations is that advertising not only dominates the people but it also manipulates them to convince them to make a positive decision. The communicators feel tempted in order to attract larger audiences that the advertisers can approach through them. Besides this, the communicators also tend to ignore the educational and the social needs of the society especially those segments that are poor and old. Moreover, stereotyping becomes common when advertising is being done and this places one group as disadvantaged when compared to their relation with the other groups.
For instance, the women are being treated badly and are exploited in the advertisements. (Carlton & Perloff 2007). Moral and Religious Harms of Advertising Advertising can be morally uplifting but on the same side it can be vulgar and degrading as well as it can motivate envy and lust. Advertisers today are also showing immoral ads that they should not show to the people as the children and the under aged are also the ones who tend to view them.
Pornography and violence have become common and the media is showing it without any legitimate restriction because of which the cultural norms are at stake. The darker side of the human beings is shown by people committing sins, violating rules and committing thefts and when the children and the youth watch all these kinds of things on the media, they tend to copy the people shown on the media that later disrupts the culture of the society. All this have created serious social problems and the youth and the children are being affected negatively.
With this, it is apparent that advertising is playing a role of a threat to the religion and is causing many issues that fall outside the domain of the moral values and ethics. Religious themes and images are also being used by the advertises to sell their products and it is acceptable if they do this in an acceptable manner but when they cross their limits especially when they show things that are offensive or when they exploit the religion, this is when the idea turns out to be a total failure.
In some cases, advertising is used by the media to promote the products and services and also to inculcate values in the people but the kind of advertising that is immoral should be strictly forbidden. Conclusion Advertising serves as a means of survival for the businesses that publish and broadcast operations as the revenue they earn from advertising is very important for them. Media is the one primary source through which the advertisers advertise and can reach their target market to deliver the message they want to.
For this purpose, the advertisers make their content interesting and such that would attract the customers. Therefore, the media has a lot of dependency on the advertisers who place their ads either on the television or in the print media in the newspapers or magazines (Andreosso & Jacobson 2005). After reviewing the pros and the cons of advertising, we came to know that it can be good and bad at the same time but it is just the usage that makes it beneficial or a threat.
I would therefore say that advertising is not a waste of resources if it is being done in a positive manner and by this I mean that there are some aspects that should be taken care of by the advertiser when making advertisements. Truthfulness in Advertising When advertising, the advertiser should ensure that the ad that is being made is based on truth and the ad should not mislead the people in any way. The idea of the ad should be to inform the people about the benefits and the features of the commodity but no misinterpretation should be done. The Dignity of the Human Person
The people who are being shown in the ad should be treated with dignity and the women especially should not be exploited in any way. Advertising and Social Responsibility When the companies make profits, it is their duty to practice corporate social responsibility and to ensure that they are being ethical in every way. The companies should not only help in the up building of the society but they should also give messages to the public that would help in the betterment of the society. For instance, the pharmaceutical companies should give message for public awareness pertaining to safe water or typhoid.