The Inconclusive Ethical Case against Manipulative Advertising Question Manipulative advertising is form of advertising thatfocuses on the positive side of a product only and never gives the negative aspect of the same product. On the other hand, associative advertising is a strategy in which advertisers add values to the product during campaigns as a way of improving a product image (Show & Vincent 346). Some examples of manipulative advertising include the subsidizing of prices of some goods by shopping malls while ensuring that everyone gets to know about it. Similarly, the use of photo shopped models in the cosmetic industry as a way of persuading customers to the industry. Through advertising, most people are inspired with a life of consumption. This is because majority of people tend to buy products out of the advertisement fantasy. Advertising makes people believe that the more a product appears on the screens or billboards, the better it is hence its rate of consumption shoots remarkably.
Galbraith’s assertion on advertising is true. Advertisers induce consumers’ wants that are not urgent through their manipulative tactics. Such advertiser triggered wants are not always urgent and as a result, they are usually ineffective (Show & Vincent 346-353). This means that once a consumer buys a product out of advertising curiosity, their satisfaction is met immediately. However, this satisfaction does not last long since the consumer did not need the product and as a result the purchased product is of less benefit to the consumer.
Levitt asserts that consumers need and want illusions of advertising. This is not true because most consumers buy a product as a result of previous experience with the similar product. Besides, not many consumers are moved by the illusions made on a product, whether new or old in the market (Show & Vincent 351-354). Similarly, it is untrue that as consumers we buy not only the physical product but also a set of feelings connected with it by advertising. This is because some products may have a nice feeling while being advertised yet we do not use them. For instance, the feeling associated with taking alcohol cannot make an anti alcohol take the drink. Also, it is true that decoration and distortions are among advertising’s legitimate and socially desirable purposes. Without the duo, the consumer may not get the advertiser’s objective of purchasing the product. However, the promises and images of advertising do not always offer the consumer a genuine satisfaction.
Manipulative advertising is not wrong as it aims at capturing consumer’s attention towards a given product. One of the strongest ethical argument against manipulative advertising is that it encourages advertisers to ignore targets well being while encouraging targets to neglect consumption of nonmarket good. As such, it makes humans less virtuous and is therefore unethical (Show & Vincent 363). If for instance manipulative advertising does not work, it would still be wrong. This is because despite people not willing to change their life ways, it will be persuading them to change. This will be going against consumers values which is seen as morally objectionable.
Shaw, William & Vincent Barry. Moral issues in business. Cengage Learning, 2015. Print