Is Advertising Out of Control?

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In 2016, the worldwide spending on advertising is more than 500 billion U.S. dollars. The amount of U.S. dollars spent on advertising only in the United States is approximately 190 billion. Worldwide spending on advertising is expected to grow to 724 billion by 2020. (“Global Advertising Spending”). Because of all that spending, I think that advertising helps the economy to prosper. It’s also very important to brands trying to sell their products and to consumers trying to choose among various products. But the problem is that the main aim of advertising is to sell. In order to gain more money and to crush the huge competition, businesses become unethical. Advertising is often misleading, annoying and sometimes even dangerous. It’s out of control and should be more regulated by the government.

Will Roger once said, “Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need.” Will Roger also said, ‘Let advertisers spend the same amount of money improving their products as they do advertising, and they wouldn’t have to advertise it”. His statement is an example of the people’s negative opinion of the ads and it seems to be widespread in the business environment of twenty first century. (Costa, 7)

He lived back in the twentieth century, so that means advertising has always been deceptive and manipulating, even decades ago. Today, his claims couldn’t be more true. And he was right because the ads mislead the consumers by presenting the products with higher quality when in fact it’s much lower. They give misleading information on the value of the product. A few months ago I bought a ring light for video production which cost me around hundred dollars.

I found it from a Youtube ad. A month later it stopped working. I looked at the reviews and I noticed that some people had the same problem as me. Was I one of those unlucky people? Why were some of those lights defective? And let’s not forget that there are also harmful products. For example, in 2016 when Samsung Galaxy Note 7 came out, a lot of people rushed to buy it. Most of them already had the Note 4 and Note 5 models which were very successful and they loved them. But the new smartphone turned out to have a defective battery. It started catching on fire while charging and there were people whose cars and houses burned down.

The commercial was made very professionally showing the beauty of the phone, it’s amazing features and let’s not forget it’s stylus pen, allowing you to draw and write on the screen easily, which was the main reason people fell in love with the phone. Who could believe that a trustworthy company like Samsung would forget to state in their commercial that their new smartphone had additional features such as exploding And that new feature was thanks to a tiny defect in the battery invented by the highly qualified chemical and electrical engineers working at Samsung.

Studies show that on average, people living in urban centers see up to five thousand ads per day (“Advertising: It’s Everywhere”). I believe that, because advertising is pretty much everywhere and it’s impossible to avoid. It’s on TV, on the Internet, on mobile apps, in magazines and newspapers, on flyers, on billboards, in the movie theaters, at the gas pump, on elevator walls, on taxis and buses. It’s a general nuisance. There is a negative effect on people when the same type of advertising repeats over and over again.

I used to watch TV everyday, but I stopped because of the constant commercial breaks. I’m wondering how do people in the US watch TV with all those television advertisements. Commercial breaks seem to be longer than the actual shows. I hate it when there’s always a commercial break after watching a few minutes of show. But Internet is not better – there are even more ads. Sidebar ads, floating banners, popup ads, video ads – these are different types of digital advertisements. Even our favorite influencers like the Kardashians promote products on social media.

Also, have you noticed that if you search something on Google, you then start to see ads about this particular thing on different sites? Usually those sites use Google AdSense to make money online by placing ads on their website and YouTube channel. Google knows what you search and wants to make sure that you see relevant ads. I feel like I’m being watched and that’s creepy! And even when you decide to take a break from TV and Internet and go out, you’ll still see advertisements in public places. You can run from ads, but you can’t hide from them.

In addition to being misleading and annoying, advertising can also be dangerous. For example, junk food advertising is dangerous for young people. According to Jennifer L. Harris, one third of the American children are overweight or obese, but food companies won’t stop targeting them with advertising for products that cause this obesity problem. 1.6 billion U.S. dollars are spent annually in child- and teen-targeted marketing by the food industry. On average, each day, the American child views thirteen food ads on television. (214) Advertising isn’t ethical. Young kids would believe everything they see on the TV. They don’t understand the purpose of advertising.

All these pizza and burgers ads brainwash the children and are a reason they will prefer junk food rather than healthier food. That results in health related problems. That’s why advertising directed to children at a very young age should be forbidden. I don’t believe that the food industry will voluntarily make any changes. At the same time, I think that the government won’t vote any laws against this issue because they probably want more people to have health problems. That way more people will buy medicine and visit hospitals. Just look at the commercials on TV – most of them are about food and medicine for diabetes and cancer.

What causes diabetes and cancer? It’s mostly the food we eat! Benjamin Plackett informs us that researchers at Dartmouth College, in N.H., and the University of Wisconsin-Madison found out that sixty percent of prescription drug ads and eighty percent of over the counter drug ads were misleading or even false. I’m pretty sure that the assertions made in the drug commercials are often exaggerated. Also, drug companies would often try to omit warnings about the side effects. That’s why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should be more responsible for ensuring that drug ads are honest.

Companies wouldn’t agree with what I said. They’ll probably say that I’m the kind of person who tries to make you believe that the main aim of advertising is to sell in order to make advertising seem unethical. According to them, it’s main aim is to helps businesses and the economy to prosper. It also helps consumers know about a product or service they need and provides options. Thanks to the options it provides, products are cheaper. Yes, that’s what advertising is supposed to do, but it’s not what it actually does. Right now, it’s main aim is to sell and that’s all.

Nobody cares about the customers. Most of the time ads mislead consumers to buy things they wouldn’t otherwise need. Just because people are convinced to buy something cheaper, doesn’t mean they actually need it. Even if they need it, ads seem to persuade them to buy more than they otherwise would. Of course, I’m not saying that ads should be forbidden. That’s impossible and that would have a huge negative impact on the economy. We need ads, but they have to be regulated because right now they’re out of control and they annoy people more than they help them.

Today, ads are a necessity. Yes, they may be helpful and needed, but they’re out of control. They’re unethical because they mislead consumers, they’re a general nuisance because they’re everywhere, and they can be also dangerous, especially for youngsters. Advertising does more harm than good. If it’s more regulated by the government, it’s not going to mislead, annoy or hurt people that much, which would instill trust in them and change their negative view of it. If people trust ads, they’ll buy more, which will help the economy.

Cite this paper

Is Advertising Out of Control?. (2021, Jun 14). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/is-advertising-out-of-control/



Are ads designed to be annoying?
Some people believe that ads are purposely designed to be annoying in order to get people to take notice of them. However, there is no evidence to support this claim.
Do ads manipulate us?
Yes, ads manipulate us by appealing to our emotions and desires.
Is advertising harmful to society?
Yes, advertising can be harmful to society. It can create unrealistic expectations, promote unhealthy lifestyles, and make people feel bad about themselves.
What are the current issues in advertising?
Aerial silks help to develop upper body and core strength, as well as improve flexibility and coordination.
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