Can Advertising Influence the Way We Live Our Life?
The prevalence of advertising in modern, consumer driven, societies is strong and growing more all the time, with television, radio, the Internet, newspapers and magazines the most ubiquitous platforms. With advertising companies increasingly looking for new media and platforms on which to advertise: roller coasters such as the "Pepsi Max T Big One" and the "Playstation" at Blackpool's Pleasure Beach, and aspects of every commercialized sport currently played, from football jerseys right down to the helmets of motorcycle riders, this begs an important question: do advertisements merely influence consumers choice of the brand of product they will buy, or do they fundamentally influence the basic types of products consumers can choose, and even the consumer's lifestyle?
Perhaps the most controversial industry of which this question has been asked is the tobacco and cigarette industry, whose advertisements can regularly be seen on large 'billboards' by UK highways, and also covering the cars, drivers and all promotional material associated with "Formula One" racing. Pollay (2004) examined the 2002 trial, which assessed the constitutionality of Canada's Tobacco Act, passed in 1997, which attempted to regulate cigarette advertising and promotion. With respect to promotional communications, the purpose of the act was "to protect young persons and others from inducements to use tobacco products and the consequent dependence on them" (Pollay, 2004). The provisions prohibited advertisements that were "false, misleading, or deceptive or that are likely to create an erroneous impression about the characteristics, health effects, or health hazards" (Pollay, 2004). Also prohibited were testimonials and endorsements, including "the depiction of a person, character, or animal, whether real of fictional", and "lifestyle advertising or advertising that could be construed on reasonable grounds to be appealing to young...
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