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Definition of Advertising

Definition of Advertising

A general definition of advertising research paper views advertising as an impersonal communication of information, paid for by a sponsor to persuade the audience to take some action such as buying a product.

Advertising can be found in many types of media, including television, radio, and newspapers, and can take different forms like skywriting or mail flyers. What makes it different from other types of communication that simply pass information is that it has a business purpose. If the advertising works well, the audience will buy the product of the sponsor. Definition of Advertising research papers have been written by business experts. We can produce a custom written project following your guidelines.

Advertising a Target Market

Advertising is impersonal because it is not aimed at any one individual or group, but at a large audience often called the target market. This has some advantages for communicating the information, since the advertising message can be carefully created long before it is actually viewed or heard by the audience. The advertising piece can also be tested on small groups to find out how effective it is before it is communicated to a large audience. Because advertising is impersonal, it can also be aimed at some audiences and not at others based on research that tells the sponsor who is likely to buy a product. This makes it cost effective in reaching exactly the target audience that is most likely to respond to the advertising. It is also different from personal selling, which involves one person trying to persuade another to buy a product.

Deceptive advertising is the practice used in selling products or services which seeks to misrepresent to the consumer the accuracy of the claim. In fact, "the seller's goals are not generally compatible with the proper informational role of advertising: The seller's general purpose is to provide information that, if believed, will induce consumers to buy his product in preference to other sellers' products. He may therefore be expected to be interested in the truth of the claims only insofar as it bears on their believability. A good research paper topic for defining advertising is to write a research paper on exploring the many techniques of deceptive advertising, and discuss the laws regarding advertising practices.

Advertising Mechanisms

According to research, there are four mechanisms, outside of regulatory agencies, that keep advertisers' use of deception in check.

  1. The first is the knowledge and intelligence of the consumer. Consumers know better than to believe many claims that could be made about a product.
  2. Secondly, the cost to a seller of developing a reputation for dishonesty could outweigh the benefit of false advertising. The deception can be short-sighted if consumers who buy the product lose faith in the accuracy of the ads.
  3. Thirdly, competition among firms sometimes results in rival firms rebutting each other's deceptive advertising statements. This is handy for the consumer in that he or she learned the downside to the product, but it is also handy for the advertiser exposing it's rival. When an advertiser discounts the rival's claim, they make themselves look good to consumers without actually selling their own product!
  4. Finally, private legal actions by consumers deters false advertising. The tobacco industry is well aware of this final point.

From an economic, social, and cultural context, advertising provides information about new products and prices, and creates incentives for product research, and improvement in existing products. It fosters competition, thus leading to lower prices. In these ways, advertising can clearly benefit society. However, in many ways, it can also be detrimental. Advertisers can distort important issues such as smoking, alcoholism, and environmental pollution. A more extreme stance is that advertising can cause segmentation of the population due to targeting of specific audiences. This can cause feelings of inequality, and can reinforce racial, ethnic, sexual or class stereotypes. Advertisers certainly do not strive to portray authentic experiences of ordinary people, and this cannot possibly foster a healthy democracy.

Many advertisers use the First Amendment to the Constitution as a defense in their practices. But does the amendment protect commercial uses of speech? Research notes that judges, politicians and philosophers have long argued that the amendment's purpose is to foster open and unrestricted political debate which leads to improvement and refinement of a government and enables a democratic system. Opponents to the use of the amendment to protect advertisers state that commercial speech is concerned with the exchange of goods, not creation of political ideas. Commercial speech regulation is acceptable because it isn't based on intolerance, but rather is based on the concern for the well-being of the community.

On the other hand, people who support the use of the first amendment in protecting rights of advertisers argue that a free-market economy and a democratic system are inherently inter-twined. All issues that affect attitudes about access to goods and services are also political issues. They stress that protecting advertising does not dilute the value of the constitution, but instead shows the true form of democracy, and that exclusion from the amendment opposes the principles of democracy, and leads to a dangerous precedent.

There are two types of regulatory bodies in advertising. The first one consists of advertisers who create self-regulatory codes.These include the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the American Advertising Federation, and the Association of National Advertisers. These organizations created the National Advertising Division (NAD), which operates as an arm of the Council of the Better Business Bureaus (CBBB). The CBBB itself is also involved in a broad range of consumer and marketplace issues. The BBB publishes a Code of Advertising which provides a guide for companies to use when questions arise.The BBB regularly monitors advertisements for compliance to the code, as well as with local, state and federal regulations. The BBB's code includes twenty principles. The first states that the primary responsibility for truthful advertising rests with the advertiser, and that they should be prepared to substantiate any claims or offers. In addition, "an advertisement as a whole may be misleading although every sentence separately considered is literally true. Misrepresentation may result not only from direct statements but by omitting or obscuring a material fact". The code also gives specific guidance in regard to comparative price, value, and savings claims. It indicates what the advertiser may compare their selling price with, such as their own former selling price, or the current selling price sole by rivals. It also gives distinct instructions for each method of comparison.Finally, it gives definitions for the terms, "list price," "manufacturer's list price," "reference price," "suggested retail price," and similar terms which have been used extensively in deceptive advertising. The CBBB's policies are in the interest of advertisers since they foster the image of reliability, thus building the professional ethics of advertisers. The BBB is not a law enforcement agency, but it does encourage voluntary cooperation, and keeps records of questionable advertising practices which are available to the public. Laws do exist, however, which further restrict the activities of advertisers.

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