consumer driven advertising

The speech titled "Advertising\'s Overdue Revolution" is a very interesting read. I will attempt to break the speech down into a number of main themes discussed by the author. I will then examine each of these themes and decide whether or not I agree with the points presented. On the issues that I have a difference of opinion, I will examine why, and try to support my argument with relevant facts.

How much is advertising responsible for the highest credit card debt and lowest household savings in years?

Let us make sure we understand what advertising is before we tackle this question. I will not be talking about one particular ad, but from the common theme underlying every ad. There is no question in my mind that advertising has contributed to this. As mentioned earlier a person gets hit with 3000 ad ideas a day. There is of course going to be things that a normal person will see in some of these ads and have a want for. However, advertising is a way for companies to communicate the ideas and products they are selling to the consumer. Can you imagine if there was no advertising at all? How could a company introduce a new product to consumers? They could lay a product in a store and hope people buy it. Of course, it may work for something that looks easy to use and when customers\' have seen similar products. What about when it is a new innovative product? Then of course how would they know what it even is if there was no label on the package. Isn\'t the packaging a form of advertising at the point of sale? As you can see when you view it in simple turns, advertising is needed to sell products.

Moving into the 21st century, technology is changing, more companies are popping up, more products are available than ever before, and researchers\' ae developing new ways to advertise each year. Therefor, it is no surprise consumer debt is at the highest level in recent years.

Advertising is increasingly being scrutinized and codes of ethics are being adopted and revamped around the globe. The author of "Advertising\'s Overdue Revolution" proposes three clarifications of the industry principles in North America. They are:

1. Promote only those goods and services that benefit human development.

2. Refrain from promoting reckless, irresponsible, competitive consumption.

3. Changes to laws regarding the way we market to children.

Let us examine each of these proposals and decide if it is a good idea to implement any those ideas.

1. Promote only those goods and services that benefit human development.

I do applaud the author for recognizing there is a problem and wanting to do something about. But I see a large problem with his first proposal. With capitalism, free enterprise, and little government control it is impossible to regulate industry and force them to promote only the goods and services that benefit society. Most industry\'s are profit driven, answering to their shareholders for instants in a large corporation. There are a few exceptions to the rule such as non profit organizations. The proposal sounds like the building blocks and ideology of a communist government. A communist country is where the state controls the industry, economy and owns all property. In that case it is theoretically possible, but even then the government is using their own subjective view of what promotes human development.

If we believed in this principle, we would be opposed to the most obvious products that harm human development such as cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, and nuclear power. We would also have to be opposed to giving kids candy as it has no nutritional value. Big Macs, Coke, Pepsi, and potato chips would all have to be banned. What benefit do these food products offer us? They have no nutritional value and one could argue that soft drinks are addictive because of their caffeine content. The list doesn\'t stop at food products, but one can easily see the flaw in such a principle.

2. Refrain from promoting reckless, irresponsible, competitive consumption.

Although it is difficult to implement, this principle is possible. Keep in mind as mentioned earlier that our society is based on capitalism and free enterprise is the main theme of it. All of the companies and corporations selling