Advertising Ethics 3

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Advertising has today become one of the most important aspects of all the businesses and to imagine the life sans it is almost impossible. Advertising was quite ingenuous a few decades back, much competition. However, the simplicity in advertising did not continue for long. In the recent past, there was growth of innumerable broadcast and TV channels. The national dailies and magazines also grew multifold. It was the time for advertisers to search for the right medium to reach the customers. Apart from the traditional medium, many other media options, which were never heard before, are now available. The production technology can now provide special effects to the advertisements. The web advertising, an interactive media, is a prime example of technological advancements. Today, the advertising has become an indispensable tool of the corporate world. It has undergone a sea change and is still moving towards unpredictability. The practitioner cannot really predict the future of advertising.

The pace of living has increased tremendously. The modern men are always fighting for time. They are always ‘on the go’ i.e. moving from place to place doing something worthwhile or useless. In the process they are being constantly exposed to advertising. Sometimes they welcome advertising and other times they try to avoid it. We have learnt to live with advertising and at other times they try to avoid it. We have learnt to live with advertising because it catches unaware. Advertisements are part of our life. Right from the morning when we rise and still such time at night when we retire, we are constantly exposed to advertising through newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, poster, handbill and so on.

Advertising is now being used more frequently to meet social problems as evidenced by campaigns dealing with no smoking, drug abuse, crime prevention, family planning, rehabilitation of the handicapped, traffic safety etc. The advertisers, agencies and media who finance these campaigns recognize the potential of advertising to influence the conscience of the society. The audience’s attitudes, beliefs, motives and values mainly determine the media they select, the advertisements they see, the messages they accept and the products they buy. Advertising succeeds when it gives people what they want. The changes in social values and life styles pose both problems and opportunities for advertising.

Advertising has close relationship with the cultural values. It can use cultural background for making advertising effective. However, it should not harm cultural values developed over years. Advertising can be made effective by using various aspects of cultural background. It can be used to strengthen and upgrade our cultural background and values. Similarly, advertising can also harm and degrade our cultural background and value system. Those connected with advertising work have to use advertising as a tool to strengthen and upgrade cultural heritage and could not use advertising as a tool for spoiling the cultural values which have made positive contribution to our social and cultural life.

Critics of advertising argue that advertising is encouraging materialistic values at the cost of cultural values while supporters of advertising feel that advertising is supporting and strengthening our cultural heritage. Advertising has close proximity with society. It influences people a great deal to buy a product. Sometimes creates a want making consumers realize the same. It has economic, political, cultural, moral and religious benefits. Although advertisements have a deluge of benefits, but it is very important how they are handled by the advertisers. This is a great concern on the impact it creates on children and women. It is generally understood that in today’s world children constitute a major segment of the customers. They have great influence on parent’s buying...
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