Ethics Of Teenage Advertising

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The Ethics of Teenage Advertising It is undeniable that nowadays, we live in a society ruled by consumerism. Businesses are offering more products, and people are increasingly enticed by their advertisements. At the same time, concerns have been raised regarding the effects that advertising - one of those being the effect that ads in the digital environment have on teenagers. Many have argued that some advertising techniques that target that demographic are questionable, and might be even unethical. In this paper, I will argue that advertising targeting teenagers is not, in fact, unethical. First, referring to Tibor Machan’s essay on advertising, I will argue that ads have no responsibility to constantly disclose the full truth. Then, I will…show more content…
Crisp claims that some advertising techniques undermine our autonomy for they use immoral methods invoke desires in consumers. (Crisp, p. 599) He maintains that some ads take advantage and rely on our subconscious desires, (e.g power, sex) and that many times, we are not even aware we are being influenced by ads (Crisp, p. 601). All of this, in turn, suggests that advertisements interfere with our free choice because we are being manipulated into adhering to…show more content…
Arrington defends that although some advertisements are manipulative, they do not undermine our autonomy. That is because although ads might induce desires, insofar as we accept them, they are no different than autonomous desires. (Arrington, p. 609) This can be depicted in the fact that we as consumers many times return to purchase a product many times. The only logical explanation for this is that we actually appreciate the product. (Arrington, p. 610) Considering that, it can be concluded that although an ad might incentivize us to buy a product for the first time, the reason we continue to buy them is an autonomous decision. Moreover, Arrington argues that in most cases, advertisements do not invoke a completely diverse desire, but instead, they appeal to independent desires we already have. (Arrington, 613) So, an ad that maintains that whoever consume such product will turn irresistible to the opposite sex, is only appealing to the consumer’s already existing desire for sex. Arrington ultimately concludes that by playing only with our pre-existing desires, advertisements do not, in fact, “brainwash” us as some would

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