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Group 4 - 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

Cigarette Adds
by Nicolas Philippou

Hello Group,
To begin with, I have to agree with most of you that as long as magazine advertisements tell the truth about the product they advertise and do not give false expectations then they are both beneficial and essential since they provide most of the income magazines have. Now, about smoking adds, I have to admit that I am a smoker (even though I am at the process of quitting). I did not start smoking because of an add showing a girl watching with last a guy who smokes. It was more like some of my friends' influence that got me into it (because you always get your first cigarette from someone else, you never buy it).
If I remember well from our economics course, smoking adds, aim mostly on taking current smokers away from the competition and do not in fact influence non-smokers to start smoking. This comes as an answer to Allan's point of view. Everybody knows about the negative effects of smoking. I do not thing that a big cigarette advertiser will ever threaten to pull their adds if a magazine publishes an article about that.
Of course the threat of an advertiser influencing the objectivity of magazine writers is real. But I believe that a competitive market like the US market does have to fear much from it. Magazines do not depend only on few advertisers for their income.

Posted on May 15 2000, 01:41 PM
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Magazine ad is beneficial for customers.
by Sungho Ko

I agree with that Magazine ad gives useful information to the customers. so, It is valuable for customers.

As we learned the types of advertisement in the marketing theory, we can categorize the ads into informative ads, deceptive ads, and questionable ads.

First of all, informative ads basically give us valuable information such as how to use, which function the product give to us, and what is caution to use. for example, in the medicine megazine, the informative ads basically give us information through which how to use with the medicine, what are potential side effects, and which ingredients the medicine includes.

Through the informative ad, the customers obtain exact information about the product such as when they can use the product, and how to use.

On the other hand, the deceptive ads induce us to use the produt with dewceptive information and function. so, the advertiser usually use exagerrated ways. for example, the diet food ad give us wrong information: if we use that food, we can reduce our weight easily. however, actually, the diet food does not guarantee us to reduce our weight easily.

Finally, the questionable ads include cigarette ad and wine and whiskey ad. that is, even though advetisers know negative effects of their product, they try to use questionable ads to increase their profits. so, I think it is very unethical. for example, when we smoke cigarette, we will feel comfortable sometimes, but cosequently, smoking do harm customers' health critically.

So, if the megazine ads basically gives us valuable inforamtion, I think the megazine ad is beneficial to the customers. but if megazine ads give us deceptive or questionable information, it should be restricted by the customers. therefore, the megazine ads should include the following desirable fuctions for customers needs.

First, the megazine ad should provide valuable information for the customers. second the ad should deliver the facts, not exagerration or deception, in order to help the customers make reasonable decision for their comsumption. and finally the megazine ads basiclly depends on its function and utility. therefore sexual appeal or deceptive information should be self regurated by the advertiser. if they did not, it will do harm to the customers.

Posted on May 14 2000, 11:18 AM
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Magazine ads are benefical
by Chuan-Yen Hu

No matter what their products are, manafautuers have to advertise their products. Because of the following reasons, I think magazine ads are more beneficial to the society than TV ads and Internet ads:
1)Customers can get complete information of a product or service from magazine ads than from television ads. They can know more about what they are going to buy, and will seldom "cheat" by magazine ads.
2)Children can see all kinds of ads from TV and Internet, but ads only for them from the magazines. They will not see cigarette or other inappropriate ads from their magazines.

Posted on May 11 2000, 07:34 PM
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by Shengying Xu

Hi, team, I read your comment and agree with you that Magazine ads do bring benefits. However, I do see a mirror of two sides. For many cosmetic products, the ads use lots of sexual sell towards teenagers. While advertising is a mirror of the social life, however, it also shape and change people's attitude and social behavior. What kind of attitudes or education the sexual ads bring to teenagers?

I would say the issue whether magazine ads are beneficial or not depends on products and the content of the advertising. It is too hard to generalize.

Posted on May 10 2000, 09:50 AM
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Response to Shengying's Message- Reiterating the Importance of Education & Communication
by Kris Scheihing

I agree that the "mirror has 2 sides", but as I mentioned in my previous email, everyone will perceive what they see in the mirror differently. There are not positive and negative ads. It is not black and white- everyone's opinion is different (there are grey areas). That is why it is so important for parents to talk to their teenagers about what they see in the ads, what about the ads they believe is unacceptable and why it is unacceptable. If parents raise their children with strong values, they are less likely to be influenced by what they see in the ads.

Posted on May 10 2000, 04:09 PM
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Benefits of Ads and Self Regulation
by Kris Scheihing

I agree that magazines are beneficial to society. In addition to educating customers about new products and informing them of product benefits, advertisements can be a source of entertainment. Don't you ever pick up a magazine just to look at the ads?

One of the groups today mentioned that magazine advertising should be self-regulated. I agree completely. It is not realistic for the government to decide which ads are acceptable for which magazines. Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion. Regarding ads that parents might feel are inappropriate in children's magazines, parents can use these ads to talk to their children and educate them regarding the issues in the ads. It is unrealistic to believe that they can avoid exposing their children to things they disagree with. The ads may offer a chance to open the lines of communication between parents and children and provide the children with a more well-rounded viewpoint.

Posted on May 09 2000, 06:32 PM
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self regulated plus laws
by Kai Ning

I agree that government can not promulgate the detailed the standards for each specific ad but general rules and moral standards should be write clearly. Without these rules, it is hard guide the those ads agencies develop their ads in a way we expect.

Posted on May 10 2000, 07:14 PM
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Magazine Advertisements are ESSENTIAL !
by Shibani Chakravorti

I am in favor of magazine ads. because they do educate and inform a customer, about the presence and use, of various products. They are a very valuable way to make people aware of technology, and where it leads today's world. It also leads competitors to be more innovative...all leads to giving consumers more choices. Therefore, magazine ads. are very very essential and needed by the community/society.

Posted on May 09 2000, 09:15 AM
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