Advertising & Consumer Sovereignty

1855 WordsJan 12, 20118 Pages
Advertising & Consumer Sovereignty Advertising in the modern day has developed alongside the advent of business ethics as a scholarly and academic practice. As the ethical environment of business has seen a surge in study and discipline, advertising has undergone even more intense scrutiny and discussion. Though advertising and criticism is no new marriage as it has been under the microscope since its takeoff in the 1930s, developments in both approach by advertisers and its critiques has lead to an even heavier discussion than before. The focal point of this critique revolves around the notion of consumer sovereignty and how it theoretically has been altered by the ad. The aim of this paper is to address this very subject and…show more content…
The later discredits this paper’s definition of “consumer.” The presentation here is that the consumer acts like a lemming, a brainless entity that is agrees and follows any information presented to them. The term “impulse buying” applies to this argument. Though this exists, the consumer still has made the conscious decision to become an impulse buyer. These impulse buyers don’t have to buy; they have simply chosen carelessly. An advertisement in no way rewires the human brain to purchase or require the use of a service. This directly correlates with the notion of consumer sovereignty and the basic right and understanding of the consumer having choice. Consumer sovereignty introduces the basic idea that the consumer is “King” or “Ruler” of the market. Their purchasing power is used to motivate and sway producers as to what to introduce to the market. The most fundamental understanding here is that customers do not have to buy. Critics of advertising argue that it cripples consumer sovereignty, degrades it to a degree that, as introduced previously, the consumer will blindly make purchases. Again, the noted understanding of consumer in this paper is critical here. However, as with impulse buying, having the capacity to reason does not mean that one will always reason. There are extremes that will counter this argument, but they are not definite. Meaning, overall the consumer has the ability to reason and
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