Every time I sit down to read a news article, pick up a new magazine on the shelves, or watch a new movie in theaters I start to question what the real story is behind what I’m seeing.
There is such a blurry line made today by what is purely entertainment or hard hitting unbiased news versus what is simply a paid advertisement to ensure that the viewer buys into whatever product that sneaks through the material. There is something called an advertorial, an article that blatantly states that it’s only purpose it to advertise a new product. This kind of writing, while it may seem to lack integrity, isn’t the kind of ethical issue I am talking about.
On CNN’s website there are constant reviews on products for cars, for cellular service providers, or even household cleaning items. They may try to present it as unbiased news, presenting the positive and negative aspects of a product, but when it comes to focusing on one company over another there always seems to be one outstanding performer among all the others. Buzzfeed articles have become a very popular way for teenagers and students of many ages to pass the time. They are filled with advertisements masquerading as funny “life-hacks” that everyone needs who suffers through a common struggle, like the common bug of hunger that so many of us stressed out students feel day in and day out.
Product placement is another controversial aspect of the advertising world that goes unnoticed for many, yet seeps into our movie-watching brains subconsciously. For any of you who have recently seen the latest Mission Impossible movie, Ghost Protocol, you may have recognized the Apple symbol throughout the majority of the movie. With the lack in creativity in Ghost Protocol I came out of the movie theater assuming it was more of an Apple commercial than a real piece of artistic entertainment.
Advertising has oozed into almost every aspect of our society and often times I wish there was more regulation on how often we see the selling of products pop into our faces without even asking for it. It brings to mind the question of ethics in advertising.
Can we live our lives without constantly being told what new product or lifestyle we should buy into?
It seems that our consumer society has shifted to completely forget what an unbiased opinion may sound like. What would a movie be without constant product placement of the latest drink that we should all be consuming? Is anyone else annoyed at the constant rate at which we are all being told to be discontent with what we have right now?
Regulations should be made in today’s society so that news reports, certain magazine articles claiming integrity, and even movies that seek artistic prowess do not contain advertising, changing our focus from learning to consuming.
But some may disagree with the argument, especially those benefiting monetarily from the current system. They may feel that they are doing nothing wrong, nothing illegal, so why must they discontinue their pursuit of infiltrating every moment of our lives with advertisements?
There is nothing less satisfying that being forced to look at something you did not pay to look at. I did not buy a subscription to Time Magazine to read about opinions about products, I bought it to read about facts that are happening around the world that I would not otherwise be able to find out about. To the people who oversaturate our world with advertisements I say, try harder to be polite to our exhausted minds. To these people I would like to suggest that a more creative route should be found before my head bursts with too many advertisements that I catch every time I turn my head. There are some commercials; about products I never would have considered buying in the first place, that are so hilarious makes me interested in being a consumer. So I would suggest to advertising companies to stick to making me laugh and not making me frustrated that I can’t read an unbiased, factual based news report on the recalls that are happening with so many automobiles, or read about the real reason that Apple needs to come out with a new version of what seems like the same exact phone every 2 months.
Can’t we enjoy the talent of writers or the creators of movies without constantly being bombarded with being told about all the things we don’t have?