Deception and Exploitation in Advertising

Deception and Exploitation in Advertising

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Whenever we turn on the television, open a magazine, or flip on a car radio, we are directly faced with advertisements for every product that is imaginable. Advertisement has been taken to a hold new level. For instance, in order to sell a product, advertisers will exploit the consumer's most personal feelings.

In a recent issue of Women's health magazine, was an advertisement promoting a famous weight loss product called, "Hydroxycut." The heading read in big red bold letters, " Have you ever looked at your body and wanted to cry?" This statement was formed to play directly on the emotions of individuals struggling with weight loss. On the left side of the page, stood a tall slim woman in a tight red dress. This woman supposedly lost sixty-three pounds from using the product. At no point do they mention anything about diet or exercise; trying to imply that she lost all the weight from using Hydroxycut.

However, the most appalling scheme is the deception of advertisement. For example, in the before photo of the woman the sky looks cloudy and gray. In the after photo the sky is sunny and blue. This indirectly suggests that the woman is depressed in the before photo, but after using Hydroxycut the woman appears to be thrilled in the after photo. I'm almost positive that this was intended to make the consumer think that by using this product they would live a much happier life. The advertiser of this ad is playing on the consumer's hopes and desires.

Another sleazy tactic advertisers take advantage of is where they position the warning label on the advertisement. As in this ad, at the very bottom of the page, with lettering so small it's practically unnoticeable to the eye, it reads, " This product contains ephedra and may cause serious adverse health effects if used improperly." Most individuals buying this product would think this information is very important. Don't you think this is what should be in big bold lettering? It also says in small print, " Julia's results are not typical." Of course not, with the use of technology today, we could make Julia look like Marilyn Monroe.

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Unfortunately, most consumers pay no attention to these indications.

Therefore, consumers can't blame advertisers for their deceiving ways, as long as the public buys into these products blindly. The advertisers objective is to sell the product, not to be concerned with your health and safety. It is the responsibility of the consumer to investigate the effectiveness and the safety of the product. As the buying public we should think with our minds not our hearts.

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