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Analyzing Visual Advertising - Essay Example

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Deceptive Advertising Choose any product and you will realize that it is facing tough competition not only from within the industry it operates in but also other industries. As each business tries to get its hands on the share of the consumer’s wallet we often find advertisers stooping down to un-ethical and misleading practices just to convince consumers to purchase their products…
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Analyzing Visual Advertising
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Deceptive Advertising Choose any product and you will realize that it is facing tough competition not only from within the industry it operates in but also other industries. As each business tries to get its hands on the share of the consumer’s wallet we often find advertisers stooping down to un-ethical and misleading practices just to convince consumers to purchase their products. The advertising campaign by Camel Cigarettes in the 1940’s suffered from a similar dilemma. (Advertising methodologies through the 20th century) Whilst it is true that advertising rules were not so stringent during that age and the health risks of smoking were generally unknown to the masses, the advertisement is still considered to be incorrect in its approach. The obvious reason being that using doctors to promote a product that is dangerous to health is just not right. The chemicals present in cigarettes harm the human body so adversely that there is hardly any part of the body that is not affected by them. Mild effects of smoking include frequent headaches, staining of teeth, tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, etc. However it has many serious, fatal side effects as well, including cancers in the mouth, breasts, or lungs. Excessive smoking often results in strokes which are caused by the lack of oxygen and narrowed blood vessels to the brain. An individual who smokes also stands at a higher chance of suffering from bronchial infections which weaken the lungs. Nicotine raises blood pressure and makes the blood clot more easily. Nicotine also harms the red blood and white blood cells, resulting in a weaker immune system and making the body susceptible to various diseases. Carbon monoxide robs the blood of oxygen and leads to the development of cholesterol deposits on the artery walls. All of these effects add up to an increased risk of heart attacks ( Statistics show that cigarette smoking alone is responsible for the deaths of over 500,000 individuals every year worldwide. (Health and Survival) This awareness is available to individuals now, however back in the 1940’s the common people did not know any of this. When they saw an advertisement by Camel certifying that doctors do smoke as well, their misconceptions were reaffirmed. People were then convinced that there was indeed nothing wrong with smoking and that it did no damage to the human body. Because if it did, why would the doctors; the advocates of health ever touch a cigarette? In order to increase the credence of their claims the advertisement also holds testimonials from doctors, who seem to be praising Camel for its superior taste and the “cooling effect” it has. By adding these testimonials, Camel is not only retaining its present smoking customers but also attracting those who do not smoke. The testimonials serve as a convincing agent to draw those who previously were cautious of the effects of smoking. They are now being trapped by highlighting the great taste of Camel Cigarettes and the joyous effect it has on individuals. When you question children about what they want to do when they grow up, popular answers include becoming either a teacher or a doctor. This is because children look up to doctors, they see them as knowledgeable individuals who have the power to heal and save lives. They see them as people equivalent to superheroes that swoop down and save the day. Now consider the effect on a child who reads that doctors, that their super heroes also smoke? Would these children not be encouraged to pick up a cigarette? Maybe not in the immediate present but somewhere in the future the children will not hesitate before taking their first puff. Furthermore, the advertisement is guilty of providing incomplete information. Nowhere on the advertisement does it talk about the sample size. They have failed to mention how many doctors were questioned regarding which brand of cigarettes they use and how many of the respondents actually replied saying that they do not smoke. Consider this situation, if for example the result of the survey was such that 50 doctors were questioned, out of which 30 said they do not smoke, 15 said they smoke Camel whereas 5 named other brands. Whilst it is clear that the popular choice among doctors is Camel, it is also clear that most do not actually smoke. However the way the advertisement is phrased gives no indication of this fact. It makes the consumer falsely believe that all doctors smoke and prefer the Camel brand. As mentioned above considering that it was the 1940’s when this advertisement appeared it is not totally unethical. Since advertisers and marketers were not subject to strict ethical guidelines that they were to follow. But now in this age if such an advertisement is ever published it stands the danger of facing many law suits that could destroy the entire business. Works Cited "Camel Cigarettes Advertising 1940s." Indy Motor Speedway. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2011. . "Doctor Recommends Cigarettes for better health! A«" N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2011. . "How Smoking Affects Your Body." - The Quit Smoking Company Home Page Stop Smoking. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2011. . Read More
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