Effects Of Cigarette Advertising

The series of interviews composing the video, “The Effects of Cigarette Advertising,” reflect opposing views regarding the influence of cigarette advertising, especially towards youth. It explores the ways advertisements of the cigarette industries target their audience and implement an urging desire to smoke, establishing an extremely dangerous incentive for teens to begin smoking at an early age.

While some believe that smoking is ultimately decided upon by the individual, many others recognize persuasive advertising techniques that encourage teens to smoke and endorse specific companies due to the image or perception they establish.

Fitness Magazines and Eating Disorders: Is There a Relationship?

Many advertisements, especially in the clothing and makeup industries, portray beautiful, thin, models with perfect bodies and flawless features that seem to establish the perfect, ideal appearance in the eyes of females. Many women seem to observe advertisements as a representation of the ultimate image they should aspire to obtain. Viewers, especially young females, already insecure about their figures, might be harmfully impacted by the standard of beauty and appearance set by the ever-encompassing advertising industry.

A study dicussed in “Fitness Magazines and Eating Disorders: Is There a Relationship?,” reflects the growing concern of the possible harmful effects of advertising. Led by Steven R. Thomsen, associate professor of communications at BYU, and published in the June 2001 issue of the American Journal of Health Education, the study investigated the impact of the “ideal” image constantly promoted in magazines on young women. As Thomsen’s own daughter suffered from eating disorder behaviors, he strongly “believe[s] women’s health and fitness magazines may be an important sociocultural influence in the development or perpetuating of eating disorder attitudes.”

Promoting flawless looks as an ideal goal for women

Promoting flawless looks as an ideal goal for women

Investigating this issue, he found that frequent readers of women’s health and fitness magazines were more prone to participating in weight control practices and unhealthy behaviors including bulimia and anorexia nervosa. Among the nearly five hundred surveyed high school girls, Thomsen and his researches discovered abundant evidence of unhealthy weight control practices including the use of laxatives and appetite control pills for weight loss, self-induced vomiting, and restrictions of 1,200 or less daily calories.

  • Almost 80 percent of the girls who made themselves vomit were frequent readers of health and fitness magazines
  • Of those who used appetite suppressants or weight-control pills, about 73 percent were frequent readers of these magazines
  • About 60 percent of the girls who had used laxatives in the past year were also frequent readers of these magazines
  • Among frequent readers, those who restricted their calories to under 1,200 a day outnumbered nearly two to one those who did not

This shockingly discovered correlation between magazine consumption and harmful behaviors and eating habits among women presents an overwhelming realization of powerful influence of advertising. Although not offering an absolute cause and effect relationship, the possibility of advertising possessing power over one’s mind and body is deeply concerning and continues to raise awareness towards the health and well being of women.

Schools explore advertising as idea for extra revenue

“Schools explore advertising as idea for extra revenue” by Dave Aeikens:

Ads are in five Minnesota school districts and in schools in five states; schools in another seven states are expected to sign on, School Media co-founder Greg Meyer said. The recent budget struggles of schools have helped the 2-year-old company grow.

Ads in schools are starting to show up more as schools look for ways to maintain programs and services with limited state and local tax dollars. Idaho and Utah are looking at allowing advertising on school buses.

Implementing advertising in schools has become a growing trend in order to improve recent funding and budget deficits. Following the example of many other Minnesota public school districts, St. Cloud is now debating the possible financial solutions accompanying advertising in its schools. As the district currently suffers a budget shortage of 1.5 to 3 million dollars for its 2011 to 2012 school year, the school board is contemplating the issue in desperate need of financial aid and in hopes of offering an alternate solution to teacher layoffs.

Becker, a Minnesota school district possessing a contract with School Media of Coon Rapids, receives successful revenue for displaying advertisements on lockers, benches, walls, and other open spaces within its schools. The advertisements are claimed to be limited to promoting health and wellness, reflecting a major concern of school board members regarding advertising in schools.

Many superintendents fear the unleashing of unrestricted advertising into their schools that could possibly find a way into the classrooms, acknowledging the powerful influence of advertising on children and the need of vital restraints.

St. Cloud currently upholds a policy updated in 2008 that allows advertising to pay for educational programs and activities that must meet standards of the community and the school board. School Media also agrees to strictly promote healthy lifestyles and educational or nutritional wellness products, encouraging exercise and healthy eating habits for children.

Superintendent Jim Johnson of Monticello Schools shows a display of possible locker advertising under consideration at several school districts

Superintendent Jim Johnson of Monticello Schools shows a display of possible locker advertising under consideration at several school districts

Advertisements embodying the ideas established by School Media present a possible positive influence on children and the community, promoting healthy habits while providing desperately needed money for the schools.

Although this conveys advertising in a positive light, the Centennial school district in Circle Pines last year rejected advertising as a financial solution despite the estimated $200,000 to $300,000 that would have been gained by the proposals.

Superintendent Bruce Watkins of the St. Cloud school district shares this tentative approach towards advertising, continuing to explore every possible option to improve the districts’ severe financial situation.

This reflects advertising’s prominent and overwhelming role in society, as it possesses the power to influence the financial and educational system of public schools across America. This exhibits advertising’s ability to act as a helpful source of aid and assistance, but also raises worry of its influential position in the lives of children.

Advertising Targeting Children

Children present a prime target of the advertising industry, as they are perceived as naive and easily susceptible to persuasive techniques, unaware of advertising’s intentions to sell a product prior to the age of 7 or 8.

Television reflects one of the largest opportunities to impact a child’s mind with advertising ploys, as it is estimated that children in America are exposed to about 20,000 to 40,000 commercials each year and possibly 360,000 television ads throughout their educational career until the time that they graduate from high school. As television has become an excessive and daily routine for many children in today’s society, it is overwhelming to comprehend the intangible exposure of children to commercials, exhibiting a strong and prominent influence in their lives from an early age.

Over half of all ads targeting children market food alone, and a study surveying Saturday morning children’s programming cited in “Advertisers View Teens as Marketing Opportunities,” discovered that these ads primarily showcase fast food restaurants and junk foods high in sugars and fats. Observing that its greatest emphasis was placed on sugary breakfast cereals, with no ads endorsing fruits or vegetables, advertising is seen as greatly promoting unhealthy eating habits for children. Intrigued by cartoon characters and surrounded by omnipresent displays of snack and junk foods, the child audience is overexposed to ideas endorsing unhealthy behaviors, possibly contributing to harmful habits and childhood obesity.

A recent report by the US General Accounting Office (GAO) reveals the growing use of advertising in public school environments, also discovered to focus primarily on unhealthy foods endorsed by the schools. The GAO report revealed the shocking amount of direct advertising in schools such as “soft drink, fast food, or snack food corporate logos on athletic scoreboards, sponsorship banners in gyms, ads in school newspapers and yearbooks, free textbook covers with ads, and screen-saver ads on school computers for branded foods and beverages.”

The use of cartoon characters and interactive websites to attract children

The use of cartoon characters and interactive websites to attract children

The advertising market takes advantage of schools’ continuous search for financial aid and assistance, along with their quality of possessing a mandatory, closed environment serving as a vital aspect of every child’s life. Some US marketing companies, such as Cover Concepts, are specifically designed to target schools alone, distributing free sponsored materials to children such as textbook covers, bookmarks, or posters branded with company logos and advertisements.

As Internet access and usage by children continues to rapidly expand, new advertising techniques have emerged including company websites offering games, quizzes, and other interactive opportunities for children. Many of these websites use interactive activities to lure children into participating in games that feature products or merchandise, or utilize cartoon characters embodying or representing a specific company. Children are attracted and deceived by websites perceived as merely fun and designed for their sole entertainment, while their whole basis of existence is actually to advertise for a company or a product. Vulnerable and easily enticed by games, toys, prizes, and cartoon characters, children represent the ultimate marketing target for advertising.

Investigating Advertising’s Influence on Society

I feel as though society is consumed with the overwhelming amount of advertisements, inevitably staring us in the eye and engulfing our thoughts every single direction we turn. Between television, the radio, the Internet, billboards, signs, posters, magazines, fliers, etc., advertisements seem to play an unavoidable and inescapable role in almost every aspect of our daily lives.

I plan to investigate the power of manipulative ploys used in everyday advertisements that influence our ideas and actions, convincing us to buy things we truly do not need or aspire to attain a false sense of reality. I also intend to explore the ways in which advertising targets certain groups with specific techniques in order to convey a certain message or alter the perception of what’s socially acceptable or required.

Setting an image and standard of beauty for women

Setting an image and standard of beauty for women

I find it interesting how we are so easily persuaded to purchase products endorsed by celebrities or others we aspire to compare to. The intriguing power employed by advertisements seems capable of influencing and convincing the public to submit to the necessities created by the advertising world around them. Advertising holds to power to pollute the minds of the public and set the social standards of beauty, fitness, fashion, and technology, creating an image of what one should look like, what one must own or buy, or how one must live or act. This unyielding impact also reveals advertising’s ability to distort and diminish the gap between what a person desires and what they believe they must acquire to be successful or happy.

I believe that as a society, we are becoming susceptible to believing in anything we see or hear and are vulnerable to the mesmerizing ads around us, polluting our minds and altering our realistic grasp on necessity and reality.