Updated: Feb 15, 2019
Our televisions, computer screens and streets are full of adverts for goods and services. Some experts say that advertising has a positive impact whereas others see it as dangerous. What is your opinion?
There is no doubt that advertising is everywhere. In our modern twenty-first century world, most of us are bombarded with commercials. They pop up on our electronic devices and appear on websites. When we watch television programmes, they are constantly being interrupted by commercial breaks. Although I accept that advertisements can inform and entertain, I believe that they are almost entirely detrimental to society.
As far as I am concerned, the most worrying aspect of the adverts which appear on our screens is that they portray dangerous stereotypes. TV commercials tend to depict men as powerful and intelligent and women as submissive, helpless individuals whose role is to please men or look after children. Unfortunately, TV viewers and internet-users are influenced by these images and may start to believe them. This creates a sexist society in which women in particular are under-valued and lack equality.
A further reason to be apprehensive about adverts is that they create greed. Consumers see products and services advertised and become desperate to purchase them. Social scientists who have studied this phenomenon claim that this desire to consume leads to a materialistic society, family breakdown, psychological illness and many other unwanted consequences.
The final point worth making is connected to price. Most economists would agree that adverts raise the costs of manufacturers and producers as they have to pay media outlets a huge amount of money to put their commercials on television, on websites or in newspapers and glossy magazines. Clearly, it is not in the interests of ordinary individuals to pay more for the things they buy and although many members of the public say that they find TV advertising quite amusing, they might not think it was so funny if they realised that it was costing them money.
Overall, I feel that advertisements are harmful, damaging and insidious. They affect society in negative ways. I wish that governments around the world would pass laws making adverts illegal or at least restricting their use. This single step would contribute greatly to the happiness of all of us.
bombarded with = repeatedly shown so many that they become difficult to deal with
submissive = allowing yourself to be controlled by others
apprehensive = to be worried about something
greed = intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food
insidious = proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with very harmful effects
Note how the writer has avoided using the word 'people' repeatedly in this answer: individuals; TV viewers and internet-users; consumers; social scientists; economists; members of the public. Try to use a range of different words/phrases to refer to 'people' in your answer