“You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements.” Norman Douglas, South Wind, 1917. You can also tell the ideals of a community, city, town, country, and society by its commercial advertisements. In our society controversial
commercial advertising is used often to raise eye brows, as well as to get attention for the “product” that the corporations are trying to sell.
Controversial commercial advertising is just a sick way to further degrade and oppress a nation. To be able to understand the problem we must first understand exactly what commercial advertising means and compare it with controversial commercial advertising. Dictionary.com says “to announce or praise (a product, service, etc.) in some public medium of communication in order to induce people to buy or use it.” Now since the true definition of commercial advertising is put to light, then what would be the definition for controversial commercial advertising? Well you can’t find controversial commercial advertising in any dictionary, but look up controversial on dictionary.com and the meaning will be there. Dictionary.com states “A controversy is a contentious dispute, a disagreement in opinions over which parties are actively arguing. Controversies can range from private disputes between two individuals to large-scale social upheavals. Controversies in mathematics and the sciences are generally eventually solved. It is the nature of controversies in the humanities that they cannot generally be conclusively settled and may be accompanied by the disruption of peace and even quarreling.” With that being said I will take you through a narrow path that should hopefully change your view on how our society chooses to advertise on television to our children, to our daughters, and to our sons.
The amount of alcohol advertising that is televised through out our states is horrific, for instance beer, wine, and liquor commercials are all examples of alcohol advertising these types of commercials are made to advertise directly to our youth. For an example there is a commercial out now advertising Tanqueray Gin. In the commercial a young man is in a state of sublime ecstasy as he is passing out Tanqueray to all of the young beautiful women around him asking the viewers “Do you tanqueray?” Now what type of message do you think this commercial is sending out to young viewers? Is it trying to say that drinking Tanqueray will give you sublime ecstasy and beautiful women, but all too often the exact opposite happens to drinkers. In a report done by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services it stated that young people are the biggest consumers of alcohol as well as the biggest naïve drinkers (1997). Combining low tolerance and high motivation is a deadly combination! So instead of a night in ecstasy it’s nothing more but a night of disasters; drunk driving crashes, property damage, date rapes, unwanted pregnancies are just to name a few (U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources 1997). In the same report they also mention that the alcohol companies target the youth in the commercials for higher sales for their product! How ridiculous and yet depressing at the same time. Because of these controversial commercials we need someone out there to fight back so a majority of these commercials being aired would soon be a small amount.
It doesn’t just stop there Alcohol industries need to put out more responsible ads on television so that they could advertise their product without targeting the young. Responsible adverting that discourages sexually provocative alcohol commercials from being aired. This is the key to ending a majority of alcohol mayhap and hopefully encouraging responsible drinking. It can happen I’ve seen it done with cigarette commercials. I remember this commercial when I was a little girl; of a cowboy who was rounding up his live stock and after having a long days job done he took out a match from his cowboy hat rubbed it against his rough mustache and lit his cigarette. Maybe you already guessed what commercial I was talking about; if you guessed the Marlboro man then that guess is absolutely correct. The cigarette commercials for a time used to rule our air ways. Until now, instead of a good looking cowboy rounding up live stock we have the “TRUTH” commercials which are exactly the opposite.
As an alternative they talk about the horrible and disgusting truth about smoking. Some would argue that the truth commercials are not meant for younger viewers thus making them controversial but I think not, if you think about it this way which commercial would you want your child to see?
Speaking of children how many of you have gone bankrupt or broke after spending money on gifts for your children for the biggest holiday of all Christmas? Statistics show that more commercials are now targeting children think about cell phone carries, toys, video games, and theme parks not to mention cloths. Wow if you’re a parent with a family of four I hope you have some sort of savings. This isn’t just hitting high income families its low income families that are most likely to be the victims here as well (Department of Health Education and Welfare 1969). What can we do about this? Our country is nothing more but one gigantic advertisement after another! Worse of all the advertisements are nothing more but controversial. For an example the video game GTA which is Grand Theft Auto is showing kids that stealing cars and killing cops is appropriate.
In a world where anything goes and a society that thrives on wealth how much should be over the limits? When do we take a stand and seriously view how products are being advertised and to whom they are being advertised to? That’s the way to getting to a place of greatness, when we can look at what’s being aired to our nation and put on more positive factual ads that are not poisoning our minds with lies, sex, or low-self-esteem, as Norman Douglas once put it “You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements.” So how about we have those advertisements show who we really are a great nation.
Definitions of Advertising and Controversial. Retrieved September 11, 2007, from http://www.dictionary.com
U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources 1997. Retrieved September 11, 2007, from Axia Library
Department of Health Education and Welfare 1969. Retrieved September 10, 2007 from Thomas Gale PowerSearch Database