Self- Regulation

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Apeksha Noronha
Roll no. 36 TYBMM Advertising

Dos and Don’ts for Advertisements Aimed At Cultural and Religious Minorities


Advertising, in any form, contains within itself an element of persuasion. Advertising that is purely informative is often all that is needed to persuade a reader or listener to buy the product. Persuasion is not the result merely of using strong words and phrases to urge people to buy a product or accept an idea. Persuasion is a two-way process. In the case of advertising, it involves a recognition or belief on the part of the reader or listener that the advertised product will satisfy a need or desire. When a person is already clearly conscious of some need or want, and a product exists that will satisfy that need or want, it requires very little in the way of advertising to persuade the person to buy. Under such conditions, all an advertisement needs is an announcement of the product’s existence, its price and where it can be bought. When consumers are not conscious of specific needs o wants or when the qualities of a product are not clearly observable, it then becomes the task of advertising to interpret the hidden qualities of the product in terms of basic human desires. Advertising is a powerful economic and social force. Consumers look to it for information in respect to products and services that might help in meeting their material needs and wants. Consumer actions are influenced by the character of advertisements that are distributed by the mass media. Because of the power and influence of advertising, it is vital to the welfare of society that high ethical standards guide the actions of advertising practitioners. High ethical standards are also vital to the long-run economic health of advertising itself. If advertising does not have the confidence of most consumers, it will lose it influence. If people grow to disbelieve a substantial percentage of the advertising messages that come to them, they will soon tend to reject most or all advertising. Advertising is a dynamic social forum where business interests, creativity, consumer needs and government regulation meet. The high visibility of advertising makes it particularly vulnerable to criticism. Another aspect is that people feel that advertising plays the role of the “hidden persuader” and that consumers are its victims as they are manipulated to buy products they neither need nor can afford. Findings indicate that while ad executives are fed up with bad ads produced by their trade, consumers do not cars much one way or the other, because of the overdrive of advertising products. However, it is worthwhile to be aware of the social issues facing advertising, as social responsibility requires a balance between public welfare and freedom of speech.

Inspite of regulation, every issue is not covered by a clear, written rule. Many issues are left to the discretion of the advertiser and these decisions may be based on a variety of considerations: objective of the ad campaign, attitudes of target audience and the legal precedent. By its very nature, advertising tries to persuade the audience that they need new products and have to buy it. However, critics want advertising to provide information and stop there. Beyond the easily ascertainable claims in an advertising message, are matters of perception. Will buying an expensive perfume make me more attractive? Such messages may be implied by the situations pictured in the ads. Inspite of being aware that these messages will not essentially change our lifestyle, advertising critics raise concern when these messages are directed to particular groups with limited experiences. Some critics believe that advertising is a symbol of our society’s pre-occupation with accumulation of material goods. We are constantly being exposed to goods that are bigger, better, changing, newer etc. and into thinking we must have...
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