Unit 2: Advertising and Society *According to Merriam-Webster: “ethnocentrism is characterized by or based on the attitude that one’s own group is superior.” Because of this, we may view the behaviors of others as wrong. However, as we come to study cultures other than our own, we learn that those behaviors are merely different, and that others’ ways are correct, too. And, not surprisingly, advertising plays a role in how we view ourselves and our society. In this unit, we will discuss the economic and social influences of advertising, ethical considerations for industry practitioners, and regulatory bodies for the industry.
Some may argue that advertising rarely furnishes useful information and, instead, perpetuates superficial stereotypes in our society. What contributions does advertising make to society? Advertising is without a doubt a vital component of a free market economy. The authors of the text note that the US advertising industry itself accounts for 2.5 percent of the nation’s Gross National Product. Advertising can serve both as a stimulus for economic growth as well as an indicator of economic change.
Advertising is more than just a competitive tool for business; it defines our culture. Since early in the 20th century, advertisers have attempted to go beyond communicating simple product information. Today’s advertisers link their brands to lifestyles. As a result, the brand’s emotional benefits may be as important as functional benefits to the advertiser’s target market.*
Unit 2 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 10 hours.
☐ Reading: 3 hours
☐ Subunit 2.1: 5 hours
☐ Subunit 2.2: 2 hours
Unit2 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - identify some of the positive and negative effects that advertising has on contemporary society; - discuss ethical issues that advertising poses for social institutions in a market economy; and - describe the regulatory bodies that impact the advertising industry.
- Reading: Launch! Advertising and Promotion in Real Time:
“Chapter 3: Advertising and Society” and Advertising and Society
Review: William M. O’Barr’s “Ethics and Advertising”
Links: Launch! Advertising and Promotion in Real Time: “Chapter
3: Advertising and
and Advertising and Society Review: William M. O’Barr’s “Ethics
Instructions: Read Chapter 3 on pages 58-92, and then read O’Barr’s review of social, ethical, and regulatory issues in advertising. Consider how you may relate these issues to things you see and hear every day. These readings cover the material you will need to know for subunits 2.1 and 2.2.
These readings should take you approximately 3 hours to complete.
2.1 The Effects of Advertising
2.1.1 Social Aspects of Advertising
- Web Media: Effects of New Media Advertising and Society:
“Argument: How Advertising has Changed and its Current Social
Implications” and YouTube: University Project’s “Advertising and
Links: Effects of New Media Advertising and Society: “Argument: How
Advertising has Changed and its Current Social
YouTube: University Project’s “Advertising and
Instructions: Read the first article about how advertising has changed and its impact on society. Then, view the YouTube video. How do you feel about what is said in the article and video? Do you agree? How do you feel about the ways in which advertising permeates every aspect of what we do? Think about ways in which it could be done better.
Reading this article and watching this video should take you approximately 4 hours to complete.
2.1.2 Ethical Issues of Advertising
- Lecture: Arizona State University: Professor Blasko’s “Legal
Issues in Advertising”
Link: iTunes U: Arizona State University: Professor Blasko’s “Legal
Instructions: Listen to this lecture on legal and ethical issues in advertising. In it, Professor Blasko examines the boundaries between legal and ethical issues in modern advertising. How do you feel about these boundaries? Can boundaries vary based on individual situations?
Watching this lecture and taking notes should take you approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete.
2.2 Advertising Regulation
- Reading: U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Truth in
Advertising” and Professional Advertising’s “Legal Issues in
Links: U.S. Small Business Administration's “Truth in
and Professional Advertising’s “Legal Issues in
Instructions: Read the this webpage for small businesses on truthful advertising. Take special note of the “Advertising Fact Sheet for Small Businesses” and “Guide Against Deceptive Pricing.” The Professional Advertising webpage will give you a synopsis of legal issues in advertising from an industry perspective.
Unit 2 Assessment - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation's “Unit 2 Assessment” Link: The Saylor Foundation's “Unit 2 Assessment” (HTML)
Instructions: Please complete the linked assessment. You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this quiz. If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.