Billboards, signs, radios, newspapers, television, and internet are main instruments that we as society see or use everyday and advertisers use as channels to advertise to society. Advertising has a major role in businesses and advertising is a business in itself. How else would businesses get their name and product or service out to the consumer by efficient means and time? A business may create a product and within a couple days reach consumers across the nation to sell that product. Without advertising businesses would not expand into nationwide companies, they would only exist as bricks and mortars in towns where they exist and the community knows them. Without advertising competition would only exist between companies by positive feedback of consumers and their price. Without advertising our society would move at a snails pace to grow.
Spending would be minimal as well as sales. Advertising creates more business to be done and more spending to be done. Furthermore, advertising is a paid link between the business and the consumer to inform and persuade them about a product or service to promote consumer sovereignty of products available to the consumer. To understand the disputes and arguments of advertising, the definition of advertising has to be established.
Advertising happens to be anything that distributes a message to another to inform or persuade. A garage sale sign pinned on a tree is a form of advertising. But to keep it from a business standpoint, advertisements are "paid, non personal communication forms used with persuasive intent by identified sources through various media" (Commerce and Morality p 43). In order to make advertising unique from announcements and other types of information, advertising main purpose is to inform and persuade to consumers to go out and buy the service or product. The advertisers have a general knowledge of who their target audience is, but do not know the individual that exist within the target audience.
"They [advertisements] appeal to unknown individuals" (Commerce and Morality p 43). For example, advertisers may target teenagers to sell a new hip shoe. Advertisers will have hip teenagers to model the product instead of mother or father figures to identify with the target audience. So on the whole, the advertisers may touch the target audience, but each individual in the target audience will identify with the advertisement at difference levels. The goal of advertisers is to create an advertisement that can appeal to the general target audience, not deeply touch a small group of individuals in the target audience that ignores the rest. Consumer sovereignty by many, including John Kenneth Galbraith ("John Kenneth Galbraith"), seizes to exist in today's age.
Consumer sovereignty is consumer independence. Consumers have the choice. If they were no choice in society then there is no sovereignty. It is "the authority of consumers to determine what is produced through their purchases of goods and services" ("The Market System"). Many believe that advertising takes away consumer sovereignty.
Advertising is repeated again and again in order to influence consumers to not have choices. Consumers see so much of one advertisement that it forces them to go out and buy the product and service. In this setting, consumer sovereignty would seize to exist. By people admitting there is no consumer sovereignty, they admit no free will. They are admitting that they are determined to buy these products that they are exploited to.
In a sense, these consumers are forced to buy the product if they are imposed by mass advertisement of the product. Determined or brainwashed? Does advertising have any role in forcing consumers to buy products? Consumer sovereignty still does exist in today's age and can never seize to exist with our economic system that is set. Consumers see an abundance of advertising and from this advertising creates desires. Most consumers, when there is money to be spent, will not save their money but rather go out and buy something. Whatever appealing advertisement crosses their path at the time they are willing to go out and buy something is what they will buy. Is it the advertisement's fault that the consumer went out to buy something? Not at all.
Advertising does not take away consumer sovereignty. We have free will to choose what we want to buy and when we want to buy an item. We have these manifestations of what we want in our head. These aren't caused by advertisements but rather from observing other individuals of what they have in society and wanting to have that item to be as well of or better off than that individual. We live in a materialistic society.
Advertising did not make it this way, individuals of society did. Furthermore, advertising reflects the attitudes of our society. For example, sex has become open more and more in today's society. It is no longer a taboo to discuss sex. We are encouraged to express ourselves in an open matter regarding sex. Therefore, many advertisements refer to sex in order to sell a product.
Consumers go on to say the add is distasteful. Ironically, advertising generally expresses the attitudes and tastes of society. For one to say an advertisement is distasteful is calling the times they live in distasteful. That person is part of a society that has let sex come out in the open and now can be seen in advertisements. Criticizing tastefulness in advertising only criticizes the times consumers live in. Advertising does not want to have consumers to find their distasteful and obscene.
"It is the culture that "deserves" indictment - not the advertisers who reflect that culture in their ads" (Commerce and Morality p 44). Advertising targets an audience to interest them in a product or service. They do this by relating to the audience on a common note in a unique way that stands out to show why their product or service is better than their competitors. Advertising and more advertising only creates more choices for the consumer. "Without advertising, there would be little competition since the information needed to make comparisons would be unavailable" (Commerce and Morality p 46). Advertising does not take away choices from the consumer, which would take away sovereignty.
A consumer is willing to exaggerate seeing an advertisement to set blame on anything that caused him or her to buy something than himself or herself. Coca cola is one of the biggest soft drink companies. The amount of times I will see some form of advertisement of Coca Cola would be less than five times in a day. Is this a lot? The amount I will see a movie advertisement is less than ten times in a day, which involves two and a half minutes of my twenty four hour day, and that is being generous.
Consumers should reevaluate what they claim. Overall consumer sovereignty is not hindered by advertising. Advertising creates more choices for consumers to consider which product they most desire. Consumer sovereignty exists for a consumer if he or she wishes.
Many consumers fall into the trap of having to spend money, and right then an advertisement comes along which causes them to buy something. The root of buying products starts with the consumer themselves not the advertisement. Advertising does not control the consumers on what they buy; advertising merely informs them on what they can buy. Consumer sovereignty goes hand in hand with advertising to create an economic system for consumers to obtain products that they wish and for businesses to flourish..