Ethics in Advertising

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Ethics in Advertising

Currently, The United States is probably already in recession. I plan to major in business. In this paper I want to point out the ethics of advertising. The advrtising industry plays a prominent role in the United States. Advertising has an important effect on a country’s economy, society, and culture. There are many arguments about why advertisements are beneficial for our society; however, there are numerous examples of advertising having serious repercussions on culture. Advertising promotes a materialistic lifestyle by leading people to believe that happiness is achieved by the acquisition of material goods. Advertising creates a consumer culture in which the foundation of society’s values and goals is based upon purchasing new products regardless of their need or usefulness. In this way advertising has adverse effects on the overall society.

Excessive commercialism is creating a materialistic population where undue value is attributed to consumer products at an increasing rate. Richard and Joyce Wolkomir say, “Today’s average American consumes twice as many goods and services as in 1950” (619). People as a whole want to fit in and material things help them do this. Gary Ruskin and Juliet Schor concluded that an annual UCLA survey findings show that students would rather succeed financially than develop a meaningful philosophy on life (625). In my grandparents’ generation, a person knew who he was from his ancestry, how much land he had, his religion, his accent, his job, and where he went to school. Now however, people build their identity around driving a luxury car or wearing the latest fashions. There is an apparent increase in materialistic consumerism which is increasingly defining our identity and place in society (Wolkomir 616-617). Critics point out that consumers are capable of saying no, and that no one can force them to buy anything which they dislike or which they deem to be unneeded. First of all, advertisements are...
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