Good Things and Bad Things about Advertising
Created by Jeenn Lee Hsieh
Criticizing the advertising industry for its undesirable influence on consumer behaviors is not unlike eventually attacking the wisdom of market economy. In this case, also to blame are the media outlets, particularly television, because they benefit from association with advertisers, apparently on commercial rather than ethic grounds. Being trapped in the combination of a myth and a reality, people should know better than unnecessarily undervaluing the importance of advertising, television and free economy in a row.
To begin with, advertising serves market economy well, as does television along with radio, newspapers, magazines and even the Internet. For one thing, advertisements tell us about new products and services that improve our lives. Besides, advertising through the media is good because it gives us a chance as consumers. What seems to be interesting to note is that advertising is an example of an affluent society in a virtuous economic circle, making profits for the television industry as well as for many other sectors. It is easy to realize, too, that the micro economy is at its best when the advertising business is booming. Logically, advertising means more money to all media outlets, which in turn boosts more sales which in turn increases production and creates more jobs with more buying power. In view of these chain effects, the influence of advertising can be positive.
The dark side about advertisements is largely a myth mixed with human greed and selfishness. There seems to be a public perception growing increasingly negative. It is true that we are surrounded by advertisements nearly everywhere and anytime. It is also true that the high sales of popular consumer goods is a reflection of the power of advertising rather than the real needs of the society in which they are sold. Furthermore, ever so often so many consumers are passing beyond limits from need to greed, and from vanity to selfishness. This kind of consumer behavior related to "impulsive buying" may be part of the story of the myth now prevailing among mostly women and young people. They are led to buy things they really do not need and sometimes with money they do not have. But what is actually the myth of which dreams so characteristic of Hollywood-type magic are made of? Eat well. Stay fit. Go dressy. Come easy. Be cool. Feel happy.
Our conclusion must not be based on the magic myth but on the simple reality that if we favor market economy as most people do, there is no escaping the influence whatever from advertisements. Nor is it possible for people to avoid believing in the myth and refrain from dreaming for more enjoyable lives. The bottom line may be that advertising thrives on economic prosperity. Imagine when people are starving and freezing, there should be no advertising whatever to sell food and fuel.
Related Writing Topics:
*Some people say that advertising encourages us to buy things we really do not need. Others say that advertisements tell us about new products that will improve our lives. Which viewpoint do you agree with? Use reasons and examples to support your answer. [TOEFL]
*How does advertising influence people's behavior? Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer. [TOEFL]
*With the development of market economy, advertisements have become a dominating feature in television industry. Discuss both positive and negative influences. [IELTS]
*We are surrounded by advertising. Some people think that this is good because it gives us a chance as consumers. But others argue that it makes people selfish and greedy for more and more goods. Give your opinion in not less than 250 words. [IELTS]
*Today, the high sales of popular consumer goods reflect the power of advertising and not the real needs of the society in which they are sold. [IELTS]