The Negative Effects of Advertising

Topics: Advertising, Mass media, Propaganda Pages: 5 (1824 words) Published: October 9, 2011
Alexandra Wesson
Professor Myslinsky
English 111 - 027
10 April 2011
Unethical Advertising
Unfortunately, advertising is sending our country into a quick downward spiral, doing an immense amount of harm and little good. Companies pay millions of dollars each year, in hopes to successfully pull the wool over our eyes and get their product sold. The dishonesty is leaving the citizens of this country with nothing to gain. The biggest problem with advertising is that the majority of it is alarmingly misleading. Advertisements convey an unrealistic view of a particular product. Companies go to extraordinary lengths to persuade consumers to indulge in unnecessary luxuries. Once again, the consumer falls victim to their tricks and gimmicks. The American people have grown incredibly naïve over a short amount of time. The majority of society favors the superficial and materialistic. All they see is an image. In the article “Sex Appeal in Advertising has Negative Effects,” Shawna Robertson states that “Not only have people become deceived by the images they are seeing, but their moral values are suffering as well” (n.pag.). Children are affected the most. At a young age one allows his or her mind to be molded and constructed. A child will grow up to be everything they are surrounded by, being very susceptible to outside influences. That being said, for future generations growing up in a media infested country, there is little hope. Attempting to thrive in a consumerist country, with a consumerist attitude, will hinder the United States for years to come. Once an idea is planted in the minds of weak-willed people, there is rarely hope for reform. Advertising is unethical, above all else. It creates a false, unrealistic image and urges people to buy in, leaving most unsatisfied after the initial “new” feeling has worn off. America revolves around material possessions. Most are in debt due to this. Everyone wants the newest, most expensive, and impressive things on the market. Unfortunately, we have our hands full trying to tackle the monster that is advertising. The negative impact advertising has on us could be turned into a positive impact if advertising was honest, there was no advertising, and the public became educated about misleading ads.

Undoubtedly, advertising should be honest. What advertisements depict is false and unjust. Advertising and the media convinces the American public that if they succumb and go along with the trend, then they will have some grand award waiting for them when all is said and done. Magazines airbrush models until they appear to be flawless goddesses adorning the front pages. In the article, “Negative Influences of Media,” Manalie Oak states that “It is often seen that young girls and boys imitate their role models blindly. The negative things the celebrities do are often talked about. The controversies in the lives of the celebrities are often highlighted by the media. This leads to a blind imitation of what appears in the news” (n. pag.). If advertising was truthful and conveyed honest images, it would do a world of good for society. Consumers would realize that they should not conform to everything they see and should resist spending their money on frivolous outlandishness. Young girls would realize that the model they see in that commercial has a pimple on her forehead, or a single hair out of place. Advertising dishonest products should be outlawed and companies should be fined if their advertisement does not meet a specific set of necessary requirements. If a company would like to advertise a specific product, the product should be inspected along with the ad to ensure the people of this country are not throwing their money away on a lie. If the product, in fact, does not perform the exact way the ad suggests, it should be taken off the market immediately. Companies should be fined for trying to propagandize unethical merchandise or unrealistic images....

Cited: Johnson, Cameron. “The Mighty Image.” The Composition of Everyday Life: A Guide to
Writing. Ed. John Mauk and John Metz. 3rd ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2010. 177-180. Print.
Smith, Molly. Personal Interview. 13 April 2011.
Oak, Manalie. “Negative Influences of Media.” Intelligent Life on the Web. 2010. Web. 12 April.
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Dittmar, Dr. Helga. “The Impact of Media Images on Body Image and Behaviours: A Summary
of the Scientific Evidence.” Nov. 2007. Web. 12 April 2011.
Robertson, Shawna. “Sex Appeal in Advertising has Negative Effects.” Web. 12 April. 2011
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