Advertising Synthesis Essay

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The birth and growth of the media age has paved the way for numerous outlets for advertising. Millions of people reading magazines, watching TV, listening to the radio and surfing the web are constantly bombarded with ads for different products or services. Although the creation of media has given us great power and knowledge, we see its consequences in our personal lives and in society as a whole. Advertising has negatively affected society through its use of false claims and manipulation, influencing the next generation of consumers.

Some advocates of advertising describe that ads boost our economy and encourage competition among business. Although this may be true, it is at the expense of our impressionable youth. One of the largest consumer markets in today’s society is that of teenagers. Nancy Day says that, “teens establish buying habits [that] will carry into adulthood” (Source D). With an increasing amount of purchasing power, teenagers have been targeted by businesses wanting to integrate their product into the teenager’s lives. Teenagers are also easily swayed—yet another reason why businesses attempt to attract teenagers. Advertisements negatively affect teenagers by presenting unrealistic situations and bad moral behavior. For example, teenage girls are influenced by stick-skinny models in magazines to have ultra-slim figures. This mind frame can cause unhealthy eating habits and disorders. Teenagers are also influenced to use alcohol and tobacco through advertisements. One cannot get through a commercial break on TV without seeing an advertisement for a brand of beer. Drinking alcohol is shown to be fun and therefore teenagers want to take part in whatever activity that is being shown. “Advertisers claim that it is up to the consumer to make moral decisions. The advertisers simply present their products” (Source F). However, it is the advertisers who “[spend] a great deal of time and money to study how best to attract and control consumers of...
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