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Advertising Negatively Affecting Our Lives

There is great debate over the ultimate impact on individuals of commercial advertising in the U.S. media. Some maintain that advertising is beneficial, in that it helps consumers become aware of the differentiation that exists among different products or helps shoppers compare price and value of potential purchases. However, most people argue that because of the fallacies most advertisements rely on to sell products, they are detrimental to individuals in the long-run. Heavy mass advertising can lead to numerous ill effects, including massive credit card debt from over-purchase, increased nagging of parents by children affected by ads, sexual exploitation of females, and increased aggressive behavior in men from exploitation of the "machismo" factor in products advertised to males. This analysis will use three distinct advertisements to illustrate these potentially negative aspects of commercial advertising.

As one of my peers commented, "In general ads or commercials have a negative impact on our lives. I believe they influence us a great deal. They tells us what's cool, how to dress, what to eat, what to buy, and how we should look." Many advertisements rely on the sexual exploitation of women to sell products by using idealized body images that often make average women feel inferior or low in self-esteem in comparison. One such ad is the ad for Jenny Craig which shows skinny, svelte women in before and after pictures. The ad runs on all of the major networks and uses celebrities who have successfully lost a significant amount of weight. The ad makes the fallacy of using emotional appeals and appeals to inappropriate authority. Appeals to emotion "evoke an emotional response to convince the listener" (Fallacies 2). Jenny Craig ads often feature exuberantly emotional celebrities proclaiming how wonderful the product is for losing weight. Inappropriate appeal to authority is also used, which is the att...

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Advertising Negatively Affecting Our Lives. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 16:47, August 09, 2020, from