I asked my 8th grade students to think about this question in order to spark a spontaneous debate in the classroom. So, here I am now also doing my homework.
Old ads still appeal to me, like this one from my childhood advertising a suntan product.
Some ads are not “politically correct” any more. Yet, there was also a time when ads were overly racist, sexist and gave unhealthy advice.
We get the wrong idea if we think that the only purpose of advertising is to sell goods. Another equally important function is to inform. Advertisements introduce us to new products or remind us of the existence of the ones we already know about.
It´s practically impossible not to see advertisements nowadays as they are everywhere; in the papers, radio, television, cinema, highways and computers (these we call spam). Moreover, there are companies who hire people to deliver ads and they ring our bells as if they were the postman.
We mustn´t also forget the smaller ads that perform a very useful service to the community. Through them we can find a job, buy or sell a house, flat or car, and even announce a birth, marriage or death.
Have you ever thought of the price we would pay for the newspaper if there were no ads? The fact that we pay so little for our daily paper or enjoy so many TV channels is due entirely to the money spent by advertisers. Advertising also creates mass markets making goods cheaper.
On the other hand some people claim that advertising is a sort of brainstorming that creates a demand for products we do not really need since quality products do not require adverts.
What do you think?
Alexander, L. G. For and against .Longman, 1977