Advertisement is playing as an inseparable part of media, and the impact of this has been such that, that many times people are more interested in advertisement rather than any other things main purpose of media. These promotion campaigns have been dominating the mind of people, and it has been affecting the people directly as well as indirectly by hitting in their subconscious.
The promotion has now become an inseparable part of society, its root deeply under rooted in the society no matter which nation the society belongs to. The impact in the society is in many ways with not required materialism. Nowadays the form of materialistic requirements, which the advertisements and promotion campaigns has brought with them is in the heights. People are failing to realize the fact that somehow these advertisements have induced a requirement for the products and services to them making them more close to the materialistic behavior (UKEssays, 2015).
It can be said that the advertisements are creating need without displaying how these are to be fulfilled. The display in the promotion is the need followed by more need. The people, in fact, are so blinded that they cannot see that the need created by the campaign is virtual belonging to the materialistic world, which they don’t really, is required for them (Cdc.gov, 2015). Marketing promotion are showing that without a particular thing, life is missing a vital part, and people are guided by FOMO (fear of missing out). People are so much possessed that they have become blind and even a useless trash seems to be an essential for them and people are having ever-growing thirst to get them in their life, hypnotized by advertisements (Strengthening Brand America, 2011).
Apart from materializing the society, these promotion campaigns also are creating other negative side effects, which are being deeply rooted the mind of people that are creating a very long lasting adverse effect in the society.
Hence, these promotions and advertisements are creating a society where moral, spiritual and social values are weightless. People are forgetting the real life and we are involved in the concept of materialism. They are driving their pleasure out of things that are taking the world away from reality. The thinking power of people has been totally weakened by advertisements and promotions, which are creating long lasting negative effects on the society. Now people do not go for the goods that are cheap and can satisfy the needs but they go for things, which are well advertised.
Because of all these, voices are raised, consumer welfare organizations are publishing the reports and are making aware the adverse side effects of commercials. In addition, because of theses, there are government rules, code of ethics, international laws and regulation of marketing and promotions under the guidelines of which companies and organizations have to design their promotion campaigns like The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which is the major rule setter in the field of marketing and promotion. As a result, these organizations feel that they are threatened by government regulation and critical public opinion and hence, the industries themselves are undertaking self-regulatory actions, issuing statements of concern for public welfare, and asserting that self-regulation is sufficient to protect the public. However, this has given mixed result. In some fields like forestry and marine fisheries, it has been successful whereas in industries like alcohol and tobacco, etc. this has proved to be ineffective. In addition, the industries where these failures are occurring are the ones that are most prone to making an adverse effect in consumers.
Hence, it seems that despite government rules and international codes, there are voids and companies are making the ads promote their goods, according to their advantage. It can be seen youtube.com the large number of banned commercials, which are largely viewed by the viewers and where governments cannot do anything. Yes, it is the responsibility of both consumers and organizations to address the issues. However, the main responsibilities lie in the organizations.
Organizations and business industries are the source of these issues and hence the responsibility, and the solution lies there. The responsibility of consumers here acts an opponent of the government of any democratic country (Influences of Product-Cause Fit and Product Type2015). The main responsibility lies in the organization. In addition, the organizations are mostly after profit and with the change in the management in the organization; there is a change in the strategy including marketing and promotion campaign. Hence, even if a management team becomes successful in creating ethical promotion campaigns, it is possible that other succeeding teams do not do so. Thus, it is the responsibility of the company to approach ethically in the campaigns with uniformity in ethical values. Similarly, it can be seen that even in the form of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), companies are advertising. According to Andrew C. Coors and Wayne Winegarden, corporation voluntarily does socially responsible activity to market its behavior, discern the product, upsurge the share in the market, and increase profits (Corporate Social Responsibility—Or Good Advertising? 2015). To give an example of it, they have asked to enter any Starbucks and then we are surrounded by advertisements with the explanation of how socially conscious Starbucks is. Also, they have given an example of BP that BP is now “Beyond Petroleum” which they are doing to attempt to persuade consumers that the firm is not “Big Oil.” There are several other lists of it raising the question that do traditional advertising and advertising a company’s socially responsible behavior vary?
The question of advertisement ethics is big here. Hence, again it is the responsibility of the organization in addressing the issue mainly. Similarly, awareness of consumers to the maximum is not possible. At a certain point in time, the even highly aware consumer will fail to save himself from the trap of promotion campaigning side effects. Besides, they can further create word of mouth promotion unconsciously and indirectly spreading the adverse effects. In such scenarios, organizations like consumer welfare organizations, churches, social organizations and so on seems to be effective (Vatican.va, 2015). The effect of these organizations will have more effect than individual consumers or small organizations of consumers. These organizations can create websites, blogs, protest programs, letter to relevant government agencies about it. Also, these organizations can create awareness among the consumers, stop them from spending on futile goods, and make them conscious of their actual needs and so on.
Similarly, the advocacy organizations especially child advocacy organization and consumers advocacy organizations can play a vital role in mitigating the adverse effects of promotions and advertisements. These organizations can place pressure in setting the alignment of promotion designing codes such that the adverse effects of advertisement and promotions can be minimized. While comparing the individual responsibilities of consumers with these organizations, these organizations have a better source, understanding and proper weight in addressing the issues.
Similarly, the organizations of producers and manufacturers are the real ones who are the main origin of these. This organization has heavy marketing strategies directed towards youths and young children. These organizations are driven largely by the desire to build brand image, their brand awareness and recognition, brand preference and brand loyalty. These organizations believe that the brand preference begins in the mind of these young people before purchase behavior does. Hence, these organizations are concentrating their efforts on developing brand relationships with young consumers at any costs without concerning and neglecting the externalities.
For example, while youth markets are targeted the marketing, and advertising of food products has hardly to do with any impact on children's food behaviors or body weight. There were studies carried out on the impact of food advertising on children's food preferences and behaviors in the mid-1970s and the 1980s. The emphasis of these research was on the relationship between exposure of children to television advertising and their food choices, food preferences, food intake and request to their parents. A review on the effects of television food advertising on preschool and school age children's food behavior concluded that:
1) The result has consistently shown that children who were exposed to advertising chose advertised food products at rates significantly higher than children who were not exposed to the advertisement
2) according to findings from food purchase request set by the children, and the studies based on surveys and experiments and trials, observation at shopping store where children come along with their parents, it was found that children who were exposed to television food advertising increases the attempts that the children make to influence their parents to buy the food
Hence while these studies shown that how the children were materialistic in buying behavior, they were not conscious much about the health issues, and in many cases as we know parents tend to buy the products that, their children prefer. In such scenario, it is much possible that the foods that have low nutrition may also be bought extensively while these features are not included in marketing campaign, and only very consumers read the contents written in the packaging of the food about the nutrition. Thus, it is possible that the advertisement will provoke to consume low nutrition food, which may affect in the long term. This is a solitary instance of one of the adverse effect of promotional campaigns. There may be such many other types of industries which may have similar kind of issues. Hence, the weight of responsibility is more in such organizations. These organizations should consider these externalities during their promotional campaigns. Apart from these, in above example, the company should clearly mention the nutrition level in their packaging which could be easily readable by the consumers and can be aware of the product. Even in this case the role consumers seems to be weak in controlling the effect of advertisement also the responsibility of the producing organizations and their marketing campaigns need to be emphasized more. Here, an attempt to aware the children and parents at every level is also possible and cheap but they are just the preventive measures. Rather, if the focus were on promotional campaigns, the adverse effect would be low and also easy for the consumers to be aware fast.
Similarly, the media organization are also responsible for the issues of advertisement. Nowadays, households are more into the culture of dual income working system and because of it; the trend of consumer socialization of children has changed from parents to media.
Children are aware of the new and innovative products available in markets through media than through their parents. The awareness about this product has become a problem when these children are being affected by the FOMO behavior and are connecting their happiness with these fancy products, which are an indication of materialism. Because of changing culture of the society and demography, parents nowadays are too focused their career and this has resulted in inclination and susceptible of towards physical things making the children more dependent on media. Also, parents try to compensate their unavailability to their children by providing materialistic things to children with which children are deeply engaged with. Hence, marketers are promoting their products like chocolates, pizzas, fancy phones, tablets, motorbike, cars, laptop, holiday tours and even beers, who are well known about the use of media by kids and youngsters and teenagers. They are putting their products as a requirement in celebrating festivals, happiness, success and being trendy. While doing so, they are using channels that relate to children youngsters and teenagers like cartoon network, Youtube, Facebook and so on (A review on the role of media in increasing materialism among children2015). In the internet, even the banned commercials in the televisions are available, and the advertisements conveyed through these channels in the form of attractive pictures, videos with media stars lure their segmented markets in buying their products. Hence, these media organizations are also equally responsible for making the society materialistic. Hence, it again becomes the responsibility of media related organizations to stop the society from being materialistic and should take consideration while promoting the products of the company.
Hence, from all point of view, it seems that the consumers here are the prey and various organizations the cause of or catalysts in making the society materialistic due to promotional campaigns. Thus, although the responsibility of addressing the issues of ethics in marketing lies both for consumers and organizations, due to the responsibility for creating it, power of controlling it and minimizing it, the main responsibility of addressing the issue comes for the organization.
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