Advertising is paid publicity. It is a commercial message that offers a product or a service for sale. It is controlled and paid for, by the initiator, at the rates set by the medium used. Advertising may appear in any of the standard medium, such as newspaper, magazine, radio, TV, bill board, or handbill. Usually the name of the product, its description and price is highlighted in the advertisement. In the last few years, the influence of advertisements has grown to this noticeable extent that any medium of communication nowadays is replete with advertising.
We people belong to a global village where everyone known about others and the news of latest happenings spread throughout the world within short span of time. So the innate desire of the man to get socialized now takes place through the modern technological aids like computer, internet, dish, cable, radio etc. through which awareness and knowledge is gained. All of our daily aspects of life – education, work, health, entertainment to relationships, travel etc all require information and direction which is now available through media where every common person checks TV, newspapers for updates, or uses internet. So this all clutter has a silent impact on the society e.g. it is a known fact that on an average scale, a child is exposed to about 40K ads a year.
Advertising by its very nature receives wide exposure. Furthermore, it presumably has an effect on what people buy and thus on their activities. The key issues are values and lifestyles are to be encouraged as healthy, which to be avoided, and what relative impact or influence advertising has on them. The issues like (1) relationship of advertising to materialism, (2) role that advertising has played in creating harmful stereotypes of women and ethnic minorities, and (3) possible contribution of advertising in promoting harmful product; have been seen.
People are giving an undue importance to material interests. There is a corresponding lessening of importance to non material interests such as love, freedom and intellectual pursuits. The accusation that advertising have contributed to the role stereo typing of women and ethnic minorities has been supported by several studies. In 729 advertisements, appearing in 1970, the authors concluded that the ads reflected the stereotype that women do not do important things and are dependent on men. And in addition, there is a national concern with the problems of alcohol and cigarettes. Local legislatures have increased taxes to around 45% of total alcohol sales and toughened drunk-driving laws. Happy hours have been banned in several states.
However besides these silent impacts, the practical benefits of advertising are:-
Economy: Generation of new jobs – higher incomes, comfortable and humane way of living.
Culture: Contributes positively in decisions about media content for betterment in society.
Politics: Significant contribution for informing people about candidates and the party etc.
Moral and religion: Faith messages etc.