Advertising is constantly bombarded by criticism.
It is accused of encouraging materialism and
consumption, of stereotyping, of causing us to
purchase items for which we have no need, of
taking advantage of children, of manipulating our
behavior, using sex to sell, and generally
contributing to the downfall of our social system.
Critics of advertising abound. Barely a week goes
by without some advertisement or campaign, or
the ad industry, being the focal point of some
controversy. There even are web sites dedicated
to criticizing various aspects of advertising.
To illustrate some of the many attacks on
advertising, I have compiled a list of relatively
recent examples that have appeared in
newspapers and magazines. This is far from being
an exhaustive list. It is intended merely to provide
you with some ideas about how the
public-at-large perceives advertising, and to give
you a sense of the many legal and ethical
problems inherent in the advertising pr...