Monday, June 28, 2004

Advertising

Is advertising of any value or is it pure "waste" that gives customers no real value and only increases prices of goods (and services, although people that critizise ads only talk about goods).

I´m not going to talk about this subject in any length, nor will I cite any articles or statistics to support my case. Simple logic will do.

To start with I want to mention two of the underlying problems that can cause misunderstanding of the value of advertising.

First, there is the age old fallacy of leftists only to focus on material things and discount the value of service and work that does not contribute directly to production. Surely a steel worker must add more value than accountant, and advertising is a pure waste. All of us have heard this before.

Second, advertising (most) often appeals to our lowest instincts. Hurry, hurry, only two days left. This product will change your life. You must have this. How can one see value in all of these sleasy adverts.

So is there any value in ads? My answer is yes. Of course not every ad has value, just as any apple does not have value (some are rotten), nor are all cars that surely add value to our society (some are Lemons). I say that ads in general are important factor in our society and are direct contributors to our wealth.

Let's take some examples. Say if a retailer sees an opportunity to buy 1.000 boxes of bananas at an exceptionally low price. The problem is the weekly average sales of bananas is only 100 boxes. What does he do? Should he buy the bananas and let most of them go to spoils or should he buy them and advertise cheap bananas so that both he and happy customers can be a little better off.

Has anyone bought a car or an apartment recently? Anyone want to place a ban on these ads, in order to let less of our valuable resources go to spoils? I need not go furhter on this topic I think.

Sure, many ads are no good, just the same way that some pizzas are ruined due to excess oil or movies that do not live up to the hype. It is a fallacy to condemn ads due to the fact that many of them are no good and/or are bad taste. They serve an important funcion in our society and allow people to save money as well as increase the scope of the consumer.




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