Is Advertisement Beneficial to Humanity?

Though advertisement, as a whole, may be beneficial for both the people and their government in that the people, including those previously giving aid, would be given the truth of the outside situations and how they would be able to contribute even more to the stated situations, the overall effect of media is demoralizing and depressing social conditions and attitudes due to there being immoral and selfish incentives.

The effects of advertising are negative in the social and behavioral aspects of humanity, especially on society itself. Though many advocates of advertisement may state that advertising creates opportunities for free trade and promotes the ideals of prosperity, the general purpose and effects of advertisement is for self-beneficial and propaganda-uses. Major, monolithic industries such as textiles and cigarettes receive an even higher benefit from receiving more produce consumption from the general populace: such as in Shaw’s and Stuart’s article in which they state that “Cigarette advertisers became adept at targeting every conceivable consumer niche and developing an…array of advertising and promotional tools to reach them..[but] also had other less quantifiable benefits…[such as in that] it promoted the continued social acceptability of smoking and encouraged the incorrect belief that the majority of people smoke.” (Source B) These forms of advertising and the resources of energy spent in developing and spreading the variety of advertisement was based on a self-beneficial incentive, where dominating companies and political machines  like that of Carnegie and that of Rockefeller in the 19th century benefitted from the exploitation of the people and of the social minorities. And so, advertising is overall negative for humanity and society in general and leans towards more selfish incentives and based on propaganda.

In addition to the negative social and behavioral effects of advertising on society, there is also bountiful evidence of selfish actions taken by advertisers; especially in the ability to manipulate the demands of the general populace in order to receive an increase in profit and an increase in economic status. As stated in Jeffrey Schrank’s Deception Detection, “advertisers delight in an audience that believes ads to be harmless nonsense, for such an audience is rendered defenseless by its belief that there is no attack taking place. The purpose of classroom study of advertising is to raise the level of awareness about the persuasive techniques used in ads.” (Source E). These ulterior motives for advertising in manipulating the populace into increasing the product’s mass consumption along with the profits gained from the stated product.

Furthermore into the problems of selfishness in the system of businesses and the economy in general, humanity has always been liable to act with cupidity for a variety of reasons: be it intrinsic, extrinsic, selfish, or selfless. This is evident throughout the history of the United States during the Market Revolution and the Second Industrial Revolution, where companies and factories utilized the people to create more profits and ameliorate their high status. And so it is visible in “the desire for profit and the appeal for a “healthy economy”” and in that the “advertisers simply present their products…but not without spending…time and money to study how best to attract and control consumers of every age, sex, race and religion.” (Source F) And so, advertising is overall negative for humanity and society in general and leans towards more selfish incentives and based on propaganda.

Though advertisement, as a whole, may be beneficial for both the people and their government in that the people, including those previously giving aid, will be given the truth of the outside situations and how they will be able to contribute even more to the stated situations, the overall effect of media is the demoralization, along with the depression of  social conditions and attitudes, due to there being immoral and selfish incentives among businesses.


Do major business monoliths have the right to indirectly manipulate the nation’s populace into purchasing the stated businesses’ products? And if so, how is media – along with advertisement – beneficial to mankind?

What do you think?

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