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The Effects Of Advertising

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The Effects of Advertising

Advertising is considered a paid communication through a non-personal medium in which the sponsor is identified and the message is controlled. Variations include publicity, public relations, product placement, sponsorship, time shifted advertising, underwriting, and sales promotion. Every major medium is used to deliver these messages such as the television, radio, movies, magazines, newspapers, the internet, and billboards. Advertisements can also be seen on the seats of grocery carts, on the walls of an airport walkway, and the sides of buses, or heard in telephone hold messages or in-store PA systems - nearly anywhere a visual or audible communication can be placed. (Wikipedia, 2006) Advertising can be persuasive and also informational. Advertising is used to influence the thought patterns of society. It is a part of everyday life with almost everything that people do.

In this paper I will discuss some of the effects of advertising in our society today within print media. Every time we may open a newspaper, a magazine, pick up a pamphlet , drive down a local highway, or drive through a rural neighborhood , we see ads that are promoting almost identical products spending huge amounts of money in order to convince us to buy their brands. If we are bombarded by the same ads over and over again, we eventually may decide to look into that advertisement a little deeper, even if that ad was advertising something that you wouldn't have thought twice about. We drive down our local highways everyday and see billboards advertising a variety of things that we may or may not need. When we go to the doctor's office, we are bombarded with all sorts of pamphlets that advertise things that we probably never even heard of, but yet it becomes an interest to us. We go grocery shopping at the market and see ads posted all over the entrance of the market and sometimes even at the exit door. Some of us read newspapers on a regular basis just so we can find the latest coupons for anything that we may think that can be of good use to us. At the end of the day, some of us end up spending money that we really don't have or just spending money on things that we just don't really need. Advertising is pervasive and virtually impossible to escape. In some cases, the cause and effect factor of advertising can even interfere with our health depending on how gullible one may be when seeing advertisements. According to a research article I read on advertising, consumers feel that advertising is everywhere and that this ubiquity has evolved overtime. Advertising is as much part of the environment as the traffic and the trees. Sometimes people feel as though there is too much advertising and too much pressure in advertisements to buy. However, the majority of our society embraces advertising as a part of life. When asked to think about life without advertising the response was that life would be very dull. There would be a lack of essential and desirable information. There would be less entertainment. There would be less street color. There would be less to talk about. (Rothwell, 2002)

Billboard ads are one of the many ways advertisers use to influence which products are sold in certain areas. A newspaper ad is only good for a day and a television commercial only lasts about thirty seconds. A billboard ad is advertising something twenty four hours a day and seven days a week. If you walk or drive through that particular area thirty times a day you will see that ad thirty times a day. Billboards are used to advertise a variety of things in certain demographic areas.

The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars each year to create and market ads that show smoking as an exciting, glamorous, and healthy activity. Billboards for cigarettes are one of many common ads seen in African American communities. According to research done by Professor Vernellia R. Randall, from the University Of Dayton School Of Law, the size and number of billboards in minority communities have created an intrusive and persistent form of advertising. There is absolutely no way to avoid it. For instance, a 1987 survey conducted by the city of St. Louis found twice as many billboards in black neighborhoods as white. Almost 60% of the billboards in the black neighborhoods advertised cigarettes and alcoholic beverages. In another study of seventy-three billboards along nineteen blocks in a black neighborhood in Philadelphia, sixty advertised cigarettes or alcohol. In a 1989 survey by the Abel Foundation, 70% of the 2,015 billboards documented in the city of Baltimore advertised alcohol or tobacco products. Three-fourths of the billboards were in predominately poor African-American neighborhoods. In fact, the Center for Disease Control estimates that billboards advertising tobacco products are placed in African-American communities four to five times more often than in white communities. Furthermore, the advertisements are usually for menthol cigarettes, which are more popular with African- Americans and which have additional significant medical effects. (Randall, 2005)

According to an article found in a Washington DC newspaper, minorities, particularly blacks, have been disproportionately targeted by the tobacco industry giants. The internal company records of R.J. Tobacco Company and Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation show how they ran advertising campaigns in magazines, on billboards, buses and other media to attract blacks to mentholated brands such as Salem and Kool. Also, a 1978 corporate memo profiles the success of the Newport brand among African-Americans, particularly high school students. (Cummings, 1998) In addition to billboard advertisement, tobacco companies advertised extensively in African-American magazines. In fact, cigarettes advertised in African-American magazines such as Ebony, Jet, and Essence account for a higher percentage of the minority magazines' total advertising revenues. For instance, in an eight-year period there were 1,477 tobacco advertisements in Jet, Ebony, and Essence. The tobacco industry poured millions of dollars into advertising in newspapers and magazines that serve the African- American community. (Randall, 2005)

According the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, a significant body of literature has established that advertising influences minors to use tobacco products. Courts have taken judicial notice of the positive connection between advertising and consumption. Cigarettes are the second most heavily advertised product in the country after automobiles. Adolescents with high exposure to cigarette advertising are significantly more likely to be smokers, according to several measures of smoking behavior, than those with low exposure to cigarette advertising. Research suggests that tobacco marketing is a stronger current influence

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