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Debate: Ban on advertising

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Revision as of 15:27, 13 March 2010

Should advertising be banned?

Contents

Background and Context of Debate:

Morality: Is advertising in principle immoral?

Pro

  • Advertising promotes non-rationality. There is nothing moral about encouraging customers to be non-rational and impulsive in spending.
  • "Advertising manipulates small children even before they reach the age when they are legally responsible for their actions." [Vance Packard, "The Hidden Persuaders"]
  • Advertising exploits our deepest fears, sensitivities and yearning. There is nothing moral about such actions, the less for commercial purposes.
  • Advertising creates an attitude of wastefulness. There is no justification for encouraging the "psychological obsolescence" of products currently in use.
  • Many adverts are not justifiable on moral basis. There is no justification for promoting products that effectively ruin people's health (cigarettes, alcohol) and cause several millions of deaths annually. Worse still, it cannot be ensured that such advertisements do not reach and affect children.


Con

  • Advertising leaves everybody better off. Not only do the consumers benefit from the products they buy thanks to adverts, but also the whole economy benefits from these "impulsive" buys, thus leaving everybody better off (both the producers and consumers). Thus, advertising cannot be really immoral.





Economy: Is advertising vital for growth of our economy?

Pro

  • The more is produced, the more needs to be consumed. Without advertising, people wouldn't be buying things they do not necessarily need, which would slow the economy down, as economy cannot grow unless people consume.





Con

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Freedom: Are advertisements a valuable form of expression?

Pro

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Con

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See also

External links and resources:

Books

  • Vance Packard - The Hidden Persuaders

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