In the text “Advertising and Behavior Control” Arrington presents an ethical tension at the heart of marketing. On the one hand it is said that advertisers manipulate the desires of consumers, forcing them to purchase products they do not want. On the other hand, advertising perhaps offers an “information” service, communicating to the consumer what is available on the market. Arrington sides with the latter argument: while advertising may be accused of playing with consumer behavior, there nothing in the essence of advertising itself which suggests that advertising is necessarily manipulative. Thus, the ethical responsibility comes down to the consumer. To put Arrington’s position somewhat coarsely: advertisers are not putting a gun to consumers’ heads, forcing them to buy things.
The advertising industry is a large business in the United States, with an average net of 250 billion per year and comprising of more than 900,000 brands under its helm with which to sell to the public. In the United States, the average child view more than 3000 ads on various communication mediums such as the television, magazines, billboards and the internet (Goodman C3). In the country alone, statistics indicate that teenager spend about 155 billion dollars a year while children aged 12 years and younger spend another 25 billion dollars. Furthermore, both age groups influence their parents’ spending and this estimated to bring in another 200 billion dollars (Quart 35). In fact, the industry of advertising and sales certainly received a lot of profit by designing advertising strategies to target the younger population. Advertisers target children in order to establish a brand name at the earliest stage possible. This practice is deemed as a routine part of the business in the United States, unlike their European counterparts which have strict rules regarding advertising to children (Strasburger 181). Advertisers are generating more creative and innovative ways to target these young consumers, whether it is in schools, through television and internet and even in strategic placement of paper ads in areas such as malls and even bathroom stalls.
The effects of advertising on society and consumers have led to a fierce debate with some people saying the impacts are negative while others think the opposite. There are a number of negative and positive economic and social effects upon which society get from various forms of advertising. For example, on the positive side, advertising helps in promoting public awareness of some products. On the hand, advertising can portray women as sex objects, which will affect the society in a negative way. Equally, advertising can affect the society by offering funds to the media and stimulate an active and competitive economy.
Google Inc. provides services and products that are related to Internet and is a multinational corporation based in USA. Their product range includes cloud computing, advertising technologies, software and internet search. Company generates most of the profit from AdWords (Google).
Google Inc. was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998 and in 2004 on August 19 company made its initial public offering. Brin and Page together now holds only 16 percent of stake of company. Mission of Google Inc. was “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” and with its slogan “Don’t be evil” which is unofficial. Headquarters was moved to Mountain View, California in 2006 (Google).
Channel is a medium through which a message is transmitted to its intended audience, such as broadcast (electronic) media or the print media. Hence a television channel refers to a television station and its programs. Advertisement (ad) is a public promotion of some product or a service. These advertisements can be given through the means like television channels, newspapers, announcements, radio, direct mail, telephone, print and internet. Most of the advertising is done by the broadcast networks. Kunkel and Gantz (1992) point out that “The topic of television advertising to children first emerged as an important public policy issue early in the 1970s”. Here we throughout this paper we will consider Lego Bricks as a product. There are many ads relating to this Lego Bricks. These are advertised on the front page of the magazines portraying children playing with LEGO with a basic set and a parts pack in foreground. There are also ads showing building of castles with Lego bricks. Some of the ads come up with the logo “Kids build Lego. Lego builds kids”.