Advertising and Exploiting Women

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Is it Morally Right for Firms to Abuse Women when it comes to Marketing/Advertising and who to blame for the ideal image of a woman in our society? The adverts are carefully crafted bundles of images, frequently designed to associate the product with feelings of pleasure stemming from fantasies and anxieties (Craig 1997). Advertising can also be defined as a paid for mass-media communication, and a means of managing and controlling the consumer markets at the least cost (Webster). It is clear that advertisers seem quite willing to manipulate these fantasies and exploit our gender identities to sell products. Gender is a social construct, a dichotomy that exists in all societies. It is used to describe the socially constructed differences between men and women, referring not only to individual identity and personality, but also at the symbolic level, to cultural ideals and stereotypes of masculinity and femininity and, at the structural level, to the sexual division of labor in institutions and organizations (Online Dictionary of the Social Sciences). The definition of gender encompasses a great deal. Temperament, abilities and skills, activities and behaviors, ideal types and accepted and unacceptable deviations from the ideal, sensuality and culture based essence of what it means to be male or female, are all part of the gender constructs of a given society. Therefore, marketers perform their activities differently when their targets are male than they do when the targets are female, and consumers’ responses often differ on the basis of gender. Sales personnel learn that alternative methods may be required when a potential customer is male rather than female, for example: the use of color in promotion, advertising and packaging sends gendered messages, perhaps the most obvious of which is the association of bright, bold colors with toys for boys and pastels and purples with toys for girls. In today’s business world, women are used as an object to attract...
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