All advertising should be banned

The question of whether advertising should be banned is a very complex and multifaceted one. The first thing we must do is consider what advertising is. The dictionary definition of advertising is "to promote publicly to increase sales and make a public announcement". Advertising is one of the most rapidly developing industries around. It is a multibillion-dollar organisation in America, and companies have been known to pay up to 13 million pounds just for a celebrity to endorse their product, let alone pay for the cost of having the advertisement filmed, produced and aired.

Larger brands often try to use a celebrity to increase the sales of their products. Techniques that companies also use include;Advertising, although it enables people to learn about new and more advanced technologies, can be hugely harmful to individuals. Many people realise the immediate effects of the adverts on their lives, but few realise the subliminal messages that the advertisements can send them. For example, when you watch sport, the advertising messages are subliminal because the perimeter of the pitch is surrounded by advertisements by the companies that are sponsoring the sporting event.

The camera passes by the advertisements hundreds of time during the event, enabling the company's name or what they are selling to become embedded upon your brain. Although the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) has taken measures to prevent people taking advantage of their airtime, many of their standard on the advertising code are subjective. For example, 'Adverts should contain nothing that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence'. When is a complaint 'widespread'?

And statements like the 'overall impression' and 'prevailing standards of decency', which is always changing. What is now considered perfectly acceptable may have been totally outrageous 50 years ago. Recent advertisements that have caused controversy include recent adverts by Benetton. I personally find this range of advertisements vulgar and completely unnecessary. The advertisements include a man dying of aid's who's face has been digitally enhanced to make him look like Jesus and 'War' featuring a half naked male with a Kalashnikov in one hand and a femur bone in the other.

Benetton did not make any contribution to any aid's charities or to the man featured in it's family and refused to comment on whether they had asked the family's permission. The advertisement would have been possibly considered acceptable had it been made to promote the awareness of aid's by a charity, but it was used purely for shock value so the consumer remembers the vendor's name. Its use is very distasteful and uncalled for.