Advertising Influence on the Society: Negative Aspects

Introduction

Production of goods and services is crucial for the existence of the society, but the advertisement used to promote them has a number of negative effects on the society. In this paper, a number of these results will be discussed, and some possible ways to oppose this influence will be offered.

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Adverts that Support, Create and Exacerbate the Stereotypes

Jean Kilbourne in her lecture exposes the influence of advertising on the perceptions of beauty and on gender stereotypes that exist in a culture (TEDx Talks, 2014). The lecturer explains that women are practically always portrayed as “perfectly” beautiful, always young, etc., by using Photoshop; moreover, females are very often objectified and degraded in advertisements, being shown as passive sexual objects. The resulting normalization of such views adds to the gender-related problems existing in the culture, such as the violence against women, their generally lower position in the society, etc. Young females, being exposed to such advertisement from an early age, start comparing themselves to the “photoshopped” models, which results in low self-esteem (TEDx Talks, 2014).

Thus, in fact, advertising does not only sell products. It supports the stereotypes that already exist in the culture, in particular, gender stereotypes (TEDx Talks, 2014). However, it might be argued that the stereotypes and perceptions are not only supported but also created. For instance, it is acknowledged that advertisement is capable of creating fashions so as to make new products sell well (Zheng, Shen, Chow, & Chiu, 2013).

Of course, for the purpose of effectiveness, the adverts will often try to create new fashions that are somehow connected to the views already existing in the society. For instance, the ads labeled “Clean Your Balls” used by Unilever to make people buy its “Axe Detailer” (Funny Commercials, 2010) uses the existing views of masculinity to sell a then-new commercial product which would otherwise be likely to be perceived as redundant by most individuals.

This allows the “creative marketers” to gradually exacerbate the already existing social problems. For example, alcohol adverts are often aimed at males; these commercials employ the tactics of presenting alcohol as a strong attribute of masculinity, portraying men who drink it as strong, brave, and sometimes even sexually attractive (Towns, Parker, & Chase, 2012). Apart from promoting alcohol abuse, which is “a crucial risk factor both for victimization and perpetration of IPV [intimate partner violence]” (Karakurt, Smith, & Whiting, 2014, p. 694), it may be assumed that this enforces the stereotypes that “real men” should use force to prove their masculinity, which also adds to the problem of violence.

Consumerism Worsened by Advertisement

In addition, as was noted, many products (such as “Axe Detailer”) would have been viewed as redundant prior to advertising campaigns. In fact, the importance of consuming that adverts promote may be a reason for stating that advertisement is a factor that stimulates consumerism in the society, with all its fallout, such as the neglect of the global ecological problems, world poverty, and so on.

Opposing the Negative Influence of Advertising

It might be hard to oppose the adverse impact of advertising on the society on one’s own, although it is possible to organize educational campaigns, create texts exposing the effects of ads, etc. It might be assumed that acting collectively would yield better results. For instance, there exist a number of ways a grassroots organization may attempt to reduce the number of ads in a city by reclaiming the public space, for example, via ads-busting or promoting legislation that would ban advertising in the public city space (Lydon, Bartman, Garcia, Preston, & Woudstra, n.d.).

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Conclusion

Therefore, advertisements may have numerous negative effects on the society. Unfortunately, it is often openly advised to use adverts that may harm the society–for instance, by using sexuality “to maximise the effectiveness of ads to achieve favourable consumer behaviour outcomes” (Wyllie, Carlson, & Rosenberger, 2014, p. 697)–all to help commercial organizations make more profits. However, it is possible to oppose this, not only on an individual level but also by taking a collective action.

References

Funny Commercials. (2010). Axe – clean your balls (funny naughty commercial). Web.

Karakurt, G., Smith, D., & Whiting, J. (2014). Impact of intimate partner violence on women’s mental health. Journal of Family Violence, 29(7), 693-702. Web.

Lydon, M., Bartman, D., Garcia, T., Preston, R., & Woudstra, R. (n.d.). Tactical urbanism 2: Short-term action, long-term change. Web.

TEDx Talks. (2014). The dangerous ways ads see women | Jean Kilbourne | TEDxLafayetteCollege. Web.

Towns, A. J., Parker, C., & Chase, P. (2012). Constructions of masculinity in alcohol advertising: Implications for the prevention of domestic violence. Addiction Research & Theory, 20(5), 389-401. Web.

Wyllie, J., Carlson, J., & Rosenberger, P. J. (2014). Examining the influence of different levels of sexual-stimuli intensity by gender on advertising effectiveness. Journal of Marketing Management, 30(7-8), 697-718. Web.

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Zheng, J.-H., Shen, B., Chow, P.-S., & Chiu, C.-H. (2013). The impact of the strategic advertising on luxury fashion brands with social influences. Mathematical Problems in Engineering, 2013, 1-16. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, January 1). Advertising Influence on the Society: Negative Aspects. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/advertising-influence-on-the-society-negative-aspects/

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"Advertising Influence on the Society: Negative Aspects." StudyCorgi, 1 Jan. 2021, studycorgi.com/advertising-influence-on-the-society-negative-aspects/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Advertising Influence on the Society: Negative Aspects." January 1, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/advertising-influence-on-the-society-negative-aspects/.


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StudyCorgi. "Advertising Influence on the Society: Negative Aspects." January 1, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/advertising-influence-on-the-society-negative-aspects/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Advertising Influence on the Society: Negative Aspects." January 1, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/advertising-influence-on-the-society-negative-aspects/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Advertising Influence on the Society: Negative Aspects'. 1 January.

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