In recent years, advertisement has grown dramatically. Many people are exposed to several ads every day. Some people can think that advertisements don’t mean anything, but usually ads sell more than they offer. Sometimes, ads can sell values, norms, lifestyles, love, popularity, and happiness. Ads have an important role in society because sometimes those ads tell people who they are or who are they going to be. Advertising has a profound effect on everyone, and sometimes we don’t know that. In fact, marketers spend billions trying to reach audience. Advertising is everywhere from the clothes we use until the food we eat. Marketers use many ways to approach to audience, but some of these methods are unethical. One of these methods is called “divide and conquer”, and its purpose is to increase sales through market segmentation. Marketers use strategies based on social diversification, audience packaging, and product targeting. Even though it doesn’t seem hazardous, those types of strategies can raise ethical problems.
One of the techniques that advertisers use is social diversification. Many businesses spend large quantities of money trying to approach different audiences based on their social status. In society, consumption depends on terms of class. Market segmentation is a common tactic for many marketers. The main purpose is to separate people in various homogeneous groups. Target particular markets based on demographic groups can raise differentiation among people. Advertisers seek for information that indentifies possible consumers. They usually target people who are in a good economic situation. They have databases on hundreds of people who might be approached as possible consumers. Sometimes, marketers profile people by zip codes. In addition, the principal intention of targeting specific markets is to prioritize some groups. On the other hand, it will bring inequalities toward others. Some people question themselves about if it is ethical to approach specific groups based on social characteristics. Some of the ethical implications are the increase of discrimination and resentment. People who are poor might experience resentment because they are treated differently. Most of the advertisers focus only on potential consumers. In consequence, it is a way to exclude certain people from others. Even though is a popular strategy among businesses, it can increment disconformities.
Another strategy is the audience packaging. The intention is to separate individuals or groups of people to make them useful consumers. Also, advertisers form groups who are likely to buy certain products. Some of the groups are children, teenagers, adults, and elderly. Children are more affected because they are easily persuaded to follow certain advertisements. Children become a important victim of consumerism. In addition marketers promote “brand loyalty” among children. Since children are vulnerable, they are inclined to follow certain brands. Although quality and price seems a rational option, some are influenced only by brands. When marketers target specific groups such as children, marketers are creating a consumer culture in children. Sometimes ads created new needs, and those things become essential. Children are the most affected ones because advertising is creating a society based on how much people have. In many cases, children grew with materialistic lives. Often, children want the latest toy or sneakers. Consequently, children are influence to act and buy in specific ways. In other cases, not only children act in that way even adults do that. Reaching specific audiences is an unconventional method to promote the same interests. The consequences of targeting people who are in a young age are unethical.
People usually acquire things that they don’t even use. In addition, they can’t remember why they bought something. This situation demonstrates the power of advertising. Marketers target their products to specific consumers. Moreover, the products are offered based on demographic patterns such as age or income. Some of the examples are toys for children or jewelry for women. On the other hand, this strategy can exclude some people to obtain certain products. Ethical concerns appear due to the exclusion of some consumers. Some people have more difficult to acquire some things just because they don’t receive the same advertisements. The pricing and the product quality varies in each zone. Every time it seems more notorious than others. Segregating some people from others is discrimination. Some consumers have limited choices of products because of their location, gender race or ethnicity. One of the reasons is because certain products are only for some individuals. Those kind of awareness pass from generation to the next generation. Advertisements promote different products to different groups of people. Most of the time those ads show that only particular people can buy anything.
In these years, advertising has become a phenomenon. In fact, the success of every business relies on advertising. Even though those types of strategies work for the advertisers, it is not advantageous for the consumers. It is ethically wrong to use methods that manipulate and persuade others. Usually, it is common to hear that the purpose of marketing is to satisfy the consumers. Segmenting people by labeling as potential consumers or not is unethical approach to everyone.
Advertisements approach different people in different ways. Usually, people don’t realize they have been swayed such as programs that people watch buy. It is ethically wrong to use methods that manipulate and persuade others. Since the first advertisements appeared in the 17th century, advertising has become the most powerful tool for all businesses. Also, advertising is a powerful tool to control everyone’s mind. it could seem unintentionally; however the reality is the contrary.