Without commercials, several forms of mass media like magazines, television, newspapers and radio might not be able to exist as they do at present. However, the question is if these advertisements are doing us any good in the long run or not. Let us find out about the negative ways in which television ads influence the society, especially children and youth.
Advertisement always promotes a product and thus, only reveals the good things about it with the intention of compelling customers to buy it. This is a major loophole in the creative process. At times, excessive dramatization results into acute false representation of the product. However, as per the Federal Trade Commission, false advertisement is a criminal offence and can result in hefty fines.
The way television commercials advertise prescription drugs give birth to unrealistic expectations regarding the effectiveness of those drugs in the minds of viewers. The visual images that the audience gets to see are of happy, healthy people. Disclaimers are never read out in majority of the ads. Even in the packaging of products, disclaimers are always concealed in extremely small print.
It is true that advertisements influence how an average man feels about himself – often in a negative manner. The ways they display everything make people forget that those images are unattainable and unrealistic. This is the reason why children should not be allowed to watch TV ads. But, the problem is that they love these ads because of the catchy phrases and jingles.
Promotes harmful products
Even if we see the taglines that smoking or consumption of alcohol are not good for health, it is from television, popular music, movies, and radio that young people get attracted towards alcohol and start having drinking problems at a young age. Television also promotes several harmful beauty products, muscle boosters and haircare products prepared with harmful chemicals. But, people end up buying those products out of blind faith.
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Capitalist firms become successful in creating demand for their own products through constant advertising. Advertisement has a key role to play in the creation of demand for certain goods in the mind of consumers, giving us the illusion that we need the product. These companies do not care about the maintenance of ecological balance.
Negative advertisements done in the interests of specific political parties are causing a great harm to democracy. People tend to believe what they see. Media controls the mind of the masses through false portrayal of incidents and situations. Either politics should be separated from television ads or it should share nothing but the truth for the greater wellbeing of all.
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We may conclude by saying that advertisement has great potential. It has the capability to unmask the evil doings of political parties and channelize the youth in the right direction. So, it is high time that the advertising agency does not misuse the power it has and have positive effects only on the society.