The world that we live in today is dominated by advertising. Adverts are on television, on the World Wide Web, in the street and even on our mobile phones.
However, many of the strategies used to sell a product or service can be considered immoral or unacceptable. To begin with, the fact that we cannot escape from advertising is a significant cause for complaint. Constant images and signs wherever we look can be very intrusive and irritating at times. Take for example advertising on the mobile phone. With the latest technology mobile companies are now able to send advertising messages via SMS to consumers’ phones whenever they choose. Although we expect adverts in numerous situations, it now seems that there are very few places we can actually avoid them.
A further aspect of advertising that I would consider unethical is the way that it encourages people to buy products they may not need or cannot afford. Children and young people in particular are influenced by adverts showing the latest toys, clothing or music and this can put enormous pressure on the parents to buy these products. In addition, the advertising of tobacco products and alcohol has long been a controversial issue, but cigarette adverts have only recently been banned in many countries. It is quite possible that alcohol adverts encourage excessive consumption and underage drinking, yet restrictions have not been placed on this type of advertising in the same way as smoking.