Advertising         Advertising, is defined as the act of informing or

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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Advertising Advertising, is defined as the act of informing or notifying; or to call the public's attention to a product or service especially in order to sell. Advertising is by far the most visible way in which businesses present information to the public. Over the years, advertising methods and objectives have stirred up quite a bit of controversy dealing with certain issues. Those who criticize advertising are concerned with specific practices linked with advertising. Critics are especially concerned with advertising which is directed specifically towards certain groups which they feel are "vulnerable." These groups include children, the poor, and the elderly. Other issues which strike up some opposing views toward advertising are advertisements that exploit women or use fear appeals, advertising that uses subliminal messages, and the advertising of products such as tobacco or alcohol. Many critics believe that advertisements manipulate the public into buying or doing things they otherwise would not do without the aid of the advertisements.

With this paper I will discuss various aspects of what is considered manipulative advertising. "The Inconclusive Ethical Case Against Manipulative Advertising," written by Michael J. Phillips will help us to better understand the different viewpoints and arguments of the critics in regards to advertising.

The first question to be answered is; What is manipulative advertising? According to Tom Beauchamp, manipulation occupies a position about midway along a continuum of influences ranging from coercion, at one end, to rational persuasion, at the other(pp.3-6). He defines it as including "any deliberate attempt by a person P to elicit a response desired by P from another person Q by noncoercively altering the structure of actual choices available to Q or by nonpersuasively altering Q's perceptions of those choices"(p.8). Phillips defines " manipulative advertising" as advertising that tries to favorably alter consumers' perceptions of the...



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