Advertising plays an important role in society today. Without advertising, most companies that rely on advertising would lack ways of ensuring that their products reach customers. Companies use different methods to advertise their products. …
These methods have changed over the years, as well as the role and purpose of advertising. Different people today have varying perceptions about advertising in society. However, advertising cannot be considered good or evil. Advertising is like a tool or an instrument; therefore, its users might use it well or badly. Depending on how it is used, advertising might have both negative and positive effects in society. For this reason therefore, advertisers do have a role to society. Advertising leads to different health conditions in society when the advertisers of junk food develop advertisements that are full of misinterpretation, mixed messages, and which hold important facts from the audience. For example, junk food advertising involves promotion of literacy, health and fitness, and education (Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, n.d). Because of this, advertisers and other communication professionals have the responsibility of upholding ethics in advertising, which in this case includes dissemination of clear and honest information in advertising (Institute for Advertising Ethics, 2011). According to Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, a large percentage of students are exposed to advertising of food, which has minimal nutritional value, and are high in fats and sugar (n.d). As such, advertising of food products should encourage healthy eating, including the consumption of fruits and vegetables (The Children's Advertising Review Unit, 2009). Every year, the rate of obesity among children and youth keeps increasing, and today, one-third of children and youth are obese, or at risk of obesity (Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, n.d). Therefore, advertising should be free of any deception (The Children's Advertising Review Unit, 2009). Advertising is harmful to society, when it contributes to the decline in morality. For example, the exposure of children to advertising encourages materialistic values in children (Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, n.d). Because of this, advertisers should demonstrate special responsibility when advertising to children, bearing in mind that children have limited capability of evaluating the credibility of information, and might not be capable of discerning the persuasive nature of advertising (The Children's Advertising Review Unit, 2009). According to Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, advertising promotes sexualisation of childhood through the highly sexualized messages in the media ads (n.d). Therefore, advertisers should not include obscene messages and content in advertisements, which are inappropriate for children audience (The Children's Advertising Review Unit, 2009). According to The Center of Alcohol Marketing and Youth, alcohol marketing encourages underage drinking (n.d). As such, advertisers should advertise to children, only products that are appropriate for them (The Children's Advertising Review Unit, 2009). Advertising promotes the stereotyping, when it places women at a disadvantage, in relation to the male gender. For example, alcohol advertisements portray women as sex objects and as a pretty package to see and not respect (Downing, McQuai, Schlesinger, and Wartella 2009). As such, advertisers should avoid any form of stereotyping and prejudice of any particular groups, but present them in a positive manner (The Children's Advertising Review Unit, 2009). According to Media Education Foundation (2008), advertising emphasizes beauty and sexiness for women, at the expense of other important values and principles. Therefore, advertisers should encourage the development of positive personal qualities, characters, and values, and serve an educational role to the audience (The Chi ...
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