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Group 3 - Magazine Advertising (Topic #3)


Discussion Topic: "Magazine advertisements are NOT beneficial to society." Discuss your position on this ethical issue with your group, and use some of the following questions to help direct the discussion.
  1. What are your position(s) and supporting arguments on this issue? 
  2. How do you evaluate, weigh and balance these arguments in establishing your positions? 
  3. What is the group's "general" position on this issue? 
  4. How would you deal with this issue in the real business world? 
For help, email allan.jeong@doit.wisc.edu

My opinion
by Hsieh Ching-Hsi

In my opinion, there is one thing makes magazine advertisement better than all other types of advertisement; no matter ads its self is evil or beneficial to the society or not.

My point is: Magazine advertisement is not as intrusive as the others. If you hate to see magazine ads, you can just don't pick that magazine up. You can also skip pages when you are reading. You have full autonomy to decide if you are going to take the information that the ads whats to convey or not.

One may say he/she can turn off TV or radio or turn to the other channel when an unfavorite or harmful ads is broadcasting. However, the difference is that when you are doing, you have already been forced to watch, to listen, and to make decisions.


Posted on May 12 2000, 04:59 PM
from IP address 24.6.207.158


I agree
by Eileen Xu

Hsieh Ching-Hsi:

I agree with your opinion that people have full autonomy to decide if you are going to take the information that the ads whats to convey or not. Since every one has different taste, or different requirement, it is hard to satisfy every one at the same time. For the ads, some one may think it is the right information he or she is looking for. However, some one may think it may force him or her to watch, to listen or to read. Therefore, we can not say that it is not good if we do not like it. As some one mentioned in our discussion, it is a free society, everyone has his right to do something without hurting others. So, we have our choice to choose what we want to read, to listen or to watch.

Eileen

Posted on May 13 2000, 07:56 AM
from IP address 144.92.44.76

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I agree
by Eileen Xu

Hsieh Ching-Hsi:

I agree with your opinion that people have full autonomy to decide if you are going to take the information that the ads whats to convey or not. Since every one has different taste, or different requirement, it is hard to satisfy every one at the same time. For the ads, some one may think it is the right information he or she is looking for. However, some one may think it may force him or her to watch, to listen or to read. Therefore, we can not say that it is not good if we do not like it. As some one mentioned in our discussion, it is a free society, everyone has his right to do something without hurting others. So, we have our right to choose what we want to read, to listen or to watch.

Eileen

Posted on May 13 2000, 09:59 AM
from IP address 144.92.44.76

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TRUE!
by Lara Khansa

Posted on May 14 2000, 08:20 AM
from IP address 144.92.44.76

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"The good fairy"
by Lara Khansa

"With no ads, who would pay for the media? The good fairy? "

One important issue is that if ads use sex or other taboos, this is because they know that human nature is attracted to such things. They know that this is what attracts the eye and force you to read about the product. Although I do not agree that the goal justifies the means,I think this is a problem in the whole life conception. I agree that it is not perfectly ethical that ads use human weaknesses to achieve materialistic benefits, but I also think that the product itself (drugs, tobacco, alcohol…) uses human weaknesses. Aren’t we supposed to ban the product instead? At least the ad is implicitly telling us there are problems in our society and is opening our eyes to our weaknesses.

What do you think?

Posted on May 11 2000, 06:39 AM
from IP address 144.92.44.76


So what
by Ying Li

Lara,

You brought up two critical points here.

First, it's not ethical for ads to take advantage of human weaknesses to gain materialistic benefits. Saying that, shouldn't we do something to ban those "bad" ads? (NOTE: Again, I do not mean "all" ads but only those "bad" ads)

Also, you pointed out that in most cases, it is the product itself that uses human weaknesses. However, the question is: is it possible to eliminate those products from our society overnight?

Take the tobacco industry for an example. Will Philip Morris go out of business tomorrow? Will the government be willing to give up millions of dollars gained from export of tobacco products every year? If it's not feasible for us to ban tobacco products in the short run, shouldn't we do something to restrict the advertising of those products right now?

Posted on May 12 2000, 08:54 AM
from IP address 144.92.44.76

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So...
by Lara Khansa

Ying,

It is good you brought up the question of government benefiting from both the product and the ad.

I have a question for you: Do you think that if the government is getting that many benefits from tobacco companies, there will come a day where tobacco will disappear? I think the answer is negative!

What will eventually happen is much worse than you think: Tobacco is being exported to the third world countries, hitting at weak individuals tortured by years of poverty, illnesses and wars. Banning ads is therefore not the realm of the problem. The product is. Banning ads that expose the problem may be a possible solution but definitely not the best. As long as the product exists, it will harm with or without ads.

Posted on May 12 2000, 10:22 AM
from IP address 144.92.44.76

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Untitled
by Joe Barnard

I would like to agree with Lara from the last topic when she said that she is tired of being politically correct!

Advertising, and definatly not magazine ads, are hardly powerful enough to force someone to buy something they do not WANT to buy.

I do not think I need someone to protect me from evil ad companies. And it is a parent's responsibility to monitor what their children read.

In a free market society, we control content by refusing to buy!!! If we do not like the advertisements, do not buy the magazine. They will either change their tactics or go out of business.

Posted on May 09 2000, 06:28 PM
from IP address 144.92.44.76


Perfectly true! Adv. is an art!
by Lara Khansa

Joe,

I totally agree with you.
Furthermore, I think advertising is an art having as main goals, attracting poeple to look at the product.

If we agree that advertising is an art, then people have the right to express themselves freely in the ad, the same way an artist does.

Why are naked women drawings highly considered when it comes to art?

If one is really so conservative that she/he cannot accept naked women pictures in a magazine, then she/he can just turn to the next page or as Joe said, stop buying the magazine altogether. In fact, because of the specificity of magazines’ target audience, we won’t see such liberal pictures in a non-liberal magazine.

From my own point of view, I think people are free to express themselves the way they want. In addition, people are free to reject or agree with what others say; they are free to stop buying a magazine if they do not like it…

By the way, if I am afraid that my son sees a naked woman in a magazine, I am not immunizing him against what his friends may show him at school. As Joe said, I had better explain to him everything that he needs to know against unsafe sex, drugs, tobacco and delinquency before he encounters them in reality.

Posted on May 10 2000, 11:14 AM
from IP address 144.92.44.76

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Ads have a place
by John Foster

Joe,

I agree that we control what ads we see by the magazines that we buy and it is silly for people to say that they were forced to do something by reading a magazine advertisement. The market has been efficient in determining were ads are shown (i.e. toy ads in children and family magazines).

I do, however, think that there must be guidelines for certain types of advertising. For example, medication advertising should list possible side effects and other pertinent information about the drug. In this case, the additional information will allow people to make a truly informed decision about something that could dramatically affect their health. The advertisement can be persuasive but should not make false statements or promises about the effectiveness of the medication. Ads in this case on not bad, but they should inform not exaggerate benefits.

What do you think?

Posted on May 10 2000, 12:58 PM
from IP address 144.92.44.76

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Guidelines and laws are needed
by Kai Ning

There must be some guidelines and laws, as magazine is not only a commercial product but also an education method. It will influence not only the economy but the culture and moral standards of the readers especially those young readers.

If there is not regulation, then ads agencies themselves may not clearly know what should do and what should not.

Posted on May 10 2000, 07:22 PM
from IP address 144.92.44.76

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I agree
by Lara Khansa

John,

I agree that medication ads should specify side effects and I think this is already practiced, not only in magazine ads but also on TV.

I also think that it is the responsibility of the patient to read the guidelines on the medication before buying it. This is her/his life that is concerned and it is her/his responsibility to preserve it.


Posted on May 12 2000, 07:57 AM
from IP address 144.92.44.76

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Regulations and laws are necessary
by Jiayu Huang

You are right, John. There must be guidelines for certain advertisements and medication advertising is a good example. I think there should also be laws governing some types of ads, such as tobacco ads.

It's true that ads do not have the capability to force you to buy something you don't want. But regulations on ads are still needed to protect young people who could not made proper buying decision. Many ads are arts and they are quite efficient in educating people. The important difference between an art and an ad is the motivations behind them. The motivation behind ads is to make as much profits as possible. Therefore many ads are often misleading. Hiding side effects or defects is a common practice. Giving untrue statements is another.

Posted on May 12 2000, 10:46 AM
from IP address 144.92.44.76

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Untitled
by Eileen Xu

I agree John's opinion that advertising are hardly powerful enough to force someone to buy something they do not WANT to buy.

I like magazines' ads, and usually page through the magazines at first before reading it. Sometimes, I buy some stuff which I do not need necessarily only because the ads is so attractive. It is true, there is no magazine ads to force consumer to buy something if we really DON NOT want it. However, it is hard to say which is necessary or not. Therefore, I think magazines ads play an important role in gaining potential consumer, especially in cosmatic and attire industry which is targeted at females or young ladies. In this case, magazines ads provide the recent market information to the consumer. Therefore, ads. is very important in gaining customer in order to increase the market share in this kind of market.

In summery, I think the magazines ads only serve as the information channels, but do not have the powerful to force people to do something.

Posted on May 12 2000, 09:20 AM
from IP address 144.92.44.76

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Some points
by Ying Li

Though our team argued strongly this morning that magazine ads are not beneficial to society, we did not say that we want to eliminate ads completely from our world. "We do not need ads" and "Current ads are not good for society" are two separate and different things.

Also, someone mentioned early that most ads appearing in business magazines are good because they provide readers with necessary professional and technical knowledge. However, when you see a high-tech company using a naked female figure to promote their software products, will you still think you "benefit" from the "education"? (I am not kidding. It's in Fortune magazine.) At least for me, I feel annoyed and offended.

So, my points are clear.

First, we have to admit that there is something wrong with current magazine ads.

Next, we need to find out what is going wrong.

The third step is to find out solutions to fix those problems. It might be commercial laws, government regulations, penalty for untruthful promotion, or things like that. We should actively take the responsibility to guide the advertsing industry in such a way that it benefits, rather than detriments, our life. But first of all, we need to admit that something's going wrong right now.


Posted on May 09 2000, 03:09 PM
from IP address 144.92.44.76

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