Saturday, September 21, 2019

“There Is No Truth in Advertising.” Discuss Essay Example for Free

â€Å"There Is No Truth in Advertising.† Discuss Essay Advertising is omnipresent and inescapable in today’s world. It is claimed that an average person is exposed to 2000 advertisements every day. Due to its all-pervasive nature, advertising has a huge impact on our minds, both consciously and unconsciously. However, the credibility of today’s advertisements should be questioned. As media companies and advertising agents become increasingly profit-driven, advertisements now contain false information, promote biased ideas and sometimes even deveice consumers, in order to sell products. Even some non-commercial advertisements are not telling the complete truth, in order to grab people’s attentions. Many advertisements tend to tell â€Å"partial truth† about their products, which equates to false information that would mislead viewers. To increase revenue and maximise profits, advertising agents use the tactic of â€Å"partial truths† that make use of viewers’ assumptions. Advertising agents skillfully design the advertisements that will only reveal the seemingly appealing characteristics of the product, and deliberately leave the necessary elaboration and explanation, which is the other half of the truth, unmentioned. An advertisement for some cat food purported that it contains a substaintial level of phosphorus, which would lead the viewers to think that more phosphorus is good for cats. But what the advertisements did not mention was that cats actually do not need phosphorous in their diet. Another cigarette advertisement in Bangladesh said that smoking helped to relieve the pain of giving birth, which is true because somking decreases the size of babies. Its detrimental effect on babies was deliberately ignored by the advertising agent. These â€Å"partial truth† are not truths at all. They are misleading lies which, if the consumers believe blindly, may even harm their health. Also, advertisements always ignore the moral truth of gender equality. They contain some stereotypes about gender roles most of the time. While men are usually portrayed as strong and masculine, women are almost always depicted as fragile, weak and feminine. Some advertisements convey the idea that women should devote a lot of money, time and effort into the pursuit of ideal beauty, to please men. There is even objectification of women that turns women into things and objects, which is dehumanising and unrespectful. One advertisement writes â€Å"If I did not lose 49 pounds, I could never be married by now†, which is saying that women should focus on their figure in order to find a husband. Another beer advertisement turns a lady into a robot that contains beer in its belly. While these â€Å"innovate† advertisements may be effective in promoting the products, they are without doubt instilling people with the wrong idea that women and men are not equal in this society, that women is somewhat inferior, which are not the truth. [However, they do reflect and reinforce existing ideas of gender roles and inequality, which is the sad reality. ] Furthermore, advertisements deceive us into believing that by buying certain products, we are able to obtain a desirable lifestyle, gain social status or get into certain social community. Advertisements are not selling merely products, but also the lifestyles, ideas, calues and status that the company want to associate the product with. By constantly linking the products with a certain lifestyle, the advertisements make the consumers believe that buying the product is one easy way to get that desired lifestyle. For instance, Louis Vuitton’s advertisements always show celebrities holding their handbags, enjoying themselves on holiday. This makes many nouveau riche think that having one of such bags would get themselves into the moneyed class and the lifestyle of the rich. However, it is without doubt that buying certain products does not change who you are or where you belong to. It is just a deception created by the advertisements. Some people may argue that advertisements for some cutting-edge technical products that truly benefit people, such as tablets and smartphones, do contain truths. I do not deny that these advertisements do contain some facts, such as the new features of the products, the improved functions and so forth. However, being advertisements, they are more or less exaggerated in order to achieve the ultimate goal of selling. Advertisements of this kind, such as the advertisement for the new iPad, always contain the key words like â€Å"all new†, â€Å"revoluntionary† or â€Å"unprecedented†, but never mention the limitations and the flaws [built-in obsolescence]. Only after a few months when the company launches a newer model would it start to point out what flaws the previous model has. This is the nature of advertising. There is no complete truth. Non-commercial advertisements are believed by many to be absolute true. They argue that these advertisements campaigning for good causes have no motive to lie. However, in order to create greater influence and to raise people’s awareness, non-commercial advertisements also tend to exaggerate and oversimplify the situation. For instane, the advertisements that help Project Hope in China to raise fund often show children who are eager to learn sitting in shabby wooden classrooms, dressed poorly. Though there are many children like this in the rural area, not all of them are passionate about learning, and not all classrooms are in such poor condition. In order to grab public attention, these advertisements are wise to show the pooresr scene to the public. But this kind of oversimplified version is definitely not the complete truth. [emotional manipulation] In all, advertising by nature aims to grab public attention. In oder to do this, there is always some extent of exaggeration. This is how advertisements work. As long as there are no false information or deceptions that mislead people, advertising with some extent of exaggeration is acceptable. People should learn to be discriminating views ant not just believe advertisements blindly.

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