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It is almost impossible to escape advertisements. Hoardings stare down at us from the roads sides, glitzy neon signs wink above the shops, jingles and slogans assault our ears and finally, pictures of washing machines and custard powders in newspapers take up more space than the news items.
Advertising attacks not only our eyes, ears and mind but also our pockets. Its critics point out that in this country, 1.6 percent of the national income is being spent on advertising and consequently, the costs of the products have risen. When a person buys a cosmetic product, he pays 20 percent to some advertiser or the other. In case he buys a product of a particular brand, he may pay more; for example, if he buys aspirin, 30 percent of what he pays may represent the cost of advertising.
These amounts seem a great deal to pay viz-a-viz the questionable benefits of advertising but there are also a few things to be said in its favour. Although certain things cost more because of advertising, yet some other things cost less. Newspapers, magazines, commercial radio stations and television broadcasts carry advertisements, which help the producers lower the costs of production.
In this way, we get information and entertainment at lower prices, which would otherwise, r have to be paid for and so, what we lose on the swings, is gained by us on the roundabouts. Apart from this consideration, advertising, to some extent, ensures that a product would maintain its quality. It also gives rise i to competition among manufacturers and the customers get the benefit of choosing from a wide range of products. Competition may even succeed, in some cases, in reversing the influence of advertising and causing a reduction in price.
Sometimes advertisements may show tall claims about a product. We may end up falsifying ourselves just because of advertisement is endorssed by some ‘ dignitory, celebrity, national hero or role model. One should not just buy a product due to its impressive advertising, but one should use his/her discreation to by a product according to one’s need, tastes, quality of the product, etc.
Advertisements are meant only for promotion of sales and publicity of product not for fooling consumers.