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Advertising: Information or Manipulation

Advertising is one of the marketing option that has been employment by corporate or rather businesses worldwide in marketing their products, both new and old to their customers. As a result of this, these businesses have employed a means of packaging their products by using words; either spoken, written or pictorial to pass messages in regard to their products to potential customers or rather clients with an aim of convincing them to buy these products. In this line of thought, these products are presented to the customers in a very attractive way, regardless of the fact that these products may or may not be the best in the market. There are different articles that have been written in the past to either support or criticize advertising or both, as a way of passing information to customers or rather clients about certain products and services that are available in the market. Among these articles is ‘Advertising - Precious Information or Vicious Manipulation?’ by Boyan Yordanof in which he asserts that whereas advertising is a means of passing important information that concerns products and services, it has been used in manipulating and misinforming consumers about these products and services.

This essay analyzes advertisement and how it has evolved over time thus leading to a loss of its intended purpose of passing important information to the society as it concerns products and services that are manufactured and sold by different businesses and organizations (Gostin and Milbank Memorial Fund 349). The author of this essay dwells on the negative impact of advertisements and provides concrete pieces of evidence that are specifically used to enlighten the public on how pervasive and manipulative advertisement has become. Much of this evidence is based on the interview that was conducted by the author and support from other authors who have gathered, analyzed and compiled important evidences on the same topic, i.e. advertisement. There are various rhetorical features that have been employed by the writer that renders it as an effective essay that concerns advertisement in the contemporary world. Among these features include the thesis, evidence, opposition and organization (Yordanof 2008).

The first rhetoric feature that is revealed in this essay is its thesis. The writer employs a thesis statement that is used to lay down the foundation of arguments in this essay. ‘Is advertising the ultimate means to inform and help us in our everyday decision-making or is it just an excessively powerful form of mass deception used by companies to persuade their prospects and customers to buy products and services they do not need?’ (Yordanof 2008). To begin with, the writers states facts on the current position of advertising and how it has been affected by various issues in the past. Similarly, he focuses and various factors that needs to be addressed in order to eliminate the element of violation of advertisement rules that are geared to guide the information that is posted in the advertisements (Yordanof 2008).

The thesis statement in this case is partial in addressing advertisement as a channel of passing important information on products to consumers. Instead, the thesis addresses advertisement as a manipulation channel that is used by businesses in marketing their products (Yordanof 2008). Similarly, it is important for one to understand that a thesis without background information and concrete evidence to support it cannot have any influence on its intended audience. Therefore, to build up and strengthen the thesis in the discussion of issues raised in this essay, the author or rather writer utilizes the evidence that is available to illustrate more on the thesis.

The author of this essay has also managed to collect concrete evidence concerning this paper through interviews. The data that was collected by the writer provide a first hand insight into the role of advertisement as it has been used in passing information concerning products of different types to customer. For example, one of the interviewed respondents stated that ‘the most successful companies do not need ethics in their activities because they have built empires’ (Yordanof 2008). Yet this is not enough. The author of this article also focuses on other articles that have been written by other authors and how they have painted the whole advertisement scenario. It is important for one to understand that once evidence has been collected, it needs to focus on both sides of the coin, i.e. on the good and on the bad side of the factors that are being considered in a particular research. Despite the fact that the author of this essay collected first hand information on importance of ethics in advertisement, there is an element of bias that develops along the way as the author focuses more on the negative side of advertisement rather than striking a balance.

However, the bias that is revealed in the essay does not erode the convincing power that this essay has on the public. Instead, through the evidence that is collected through interviews on advertisement using the four interviews that are mentioned in the essay, the author develops the thesis of the essay that provide a glance at the conclusions that would be made by the author at the end of the essay. For example, the evidence that is collected through analyzing articles and through the interviews restricts the author to focus on the impossibility of using ethics as a guideline in advertisement (Yordanof 2008). Thus, this evidence leads the author to make a conclusion that there is much to be argued out in regard to ethics and advertisement, and yet the weight lies on the impossibility of employing ethics as a means of dealing with scrupulous advertisement.

It is also important to note that there are various specific evidences that portrays advertisement as a means of misinformation rather than a means of communication with the clients or rather customers by businesses and organization. According to Gostin and Milbank Memorial Fund (2008), it is clearly evident that advertisement has acted more as a way of misleading the public through their information rather than informing the public (349). In regard to this, there is enough evidence that advertisement in most cases has offered products and services whose use and results attained after their use are impossible. For example, there are advertisement that claims that one would look younger and sexy after utilizing certain services and products. However, a closer look at this reveals that these results cannot in any way be achieved (Yordanof 2008). Thus Yordanof (2008) manages in this article to collect credible evidence that is convincing to the public and to its audience.

The organization of the essay has also been done in a superb way by the author. To begin with, the author begins by stating the problem statement in regard to the issue of discussion. In the problem statement, the author begins by stating how helpful advertisement has been in the society, yet over time, it has turned into marketing gimmick that has focused on misleading the clients or rather customers towards consuming or spending their money on products and services that are not worth the value that they have been portrayed to have. In that connection, the author, through this organization of the essay lays down a foundation that guides the theme and the thesis throughout the paper. After having defined the problem statement, the author then turns to organizing the available evidence in such a way that it is able to support his arguments. For instance, ‘In order to get insights into the consumer perception about the role of advertising we have reviewed a number of articles and conducted four in-depth interviews’ (Yordanof 2008). These articles are interview results are arranged in a systematic way that is easy to follow for the reader.

In reference to Yordanof (2008), there are various questions that need to be addressed in regard to advertisement before a conclusion can be reached. Therefore, he divides into sections the evidence that was obtained and form questions to be addressed by this evidence. One observation about the organization of the essay is the transition that is maintained throughout the essay. Whereas there are four themes that are developed and addressed by the essay, the fact remains that these themes flow well from one to another, thus creating a harmonious transition throughout the essay, making it easier for the audience or rather reader to follow and understand the issues that are being addressed. For example, there is a linkage between theme three which addresses the contents of advertisements and theme four that addresses the justification of the content of advertisement. As a result of organizing this essay in a proper way, the author succeeds in creating a picture of what he desires to present to the public in regard to the advertisement.

One of the critical elements that are used in writing this essay is opposition. The ideas that are presented in this essay have a strong opposition towards advertising as a means of passing information to customers concerning various services and products that manufacturers and businesses have. The articulation of ideas in this essay does not support advertisement as a means of information sharing but rather as a way of manipulating the consumers to spend unintentionally on products that are not worthy their money or does not in any way rhyme with the information that is presented about them. For example, Yordanof (2008) opposes the idea that using certain products will enhance the lifestyle of person that includes making a person young and sexy. Thus he terms this as mere manipulation that is based on the fact that there are a lot of people out there who are willing to pay anything amount of money to obtain such kind of status.

Similarly, he cites cases whereby the manufacturers and business people have focuses on promoting their products among children who have no precise moral judgment that enables them to deal with the bias that is created by advertisement in order to sell their product. In addition to this, he includes cases whereby parents are coerced to buy certain products through advertising these products to children who would demand their parents to buy them. However, this should not be the case. In fact, ‘the advertising to children should be strictly monitored’ (Yordanof 2008).

Thus Yordanof (2008) manages to create an opposition to the tactics that are used by manufacturers and business people in selling their products. Whereas one may argue that the author is biased towards advertisements, the evidence that is presented in this essay leaves no doubt that there are certain measures in regard to advertisement that needs to be taken by the government and the society as whole to oppose the element of manipulation that is currently employed by most marketers. In this regard, Yordanof (2008) cites various examples of nations that prohibit advertisement on television when airing children’s programs.

In the article ‘Advertising - Precious Information or Vicious Manipulation?’ by Boyan Yordanof, the author asserts that whereas advertising is a means of passing important information that concerns products and services, it has been used in manipulating and misinforming consumers about these products and services. It can therefore be argued that the author of this essay has been able to employ different rhetorical features that have acted as a guiding line to the development of the themes that were to be addressed by this essay. In this regard, he employs features such as organization, evidence, thesis and opposition that help him to develop his work in a systematic way, thus being able to remain relevant in presenting his views concerning advertisement in the society. In addition, he uses logical arguments that act as a backbone in expounding on the theme and thesis of this essay. Thus it can be concluded that this essay is able to persuade its audience as far as the topic of discussion is concerned. 

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