Nowadays, advertisements are part of our everyday life. We see them in mails, televisions, radio, billboards and even surfing online. Many companies spend millions on advertising since advertising can lead to increase their revenue. Advertising can promote positive impact or negative impact to our society. But the advertisement has caused more negative impact to our society because it persuades people to purchase goods or services they don’t really need.
There are numerous advertising tricks such as negative motions, fear, anxiety or guilt is being used to persuade us to buy their products. Manufacturers and marketers especially in food industry are pushing the thin line between truth and a simple technicality. Misleading advertisements can not only carry many negative social impacts but also harm to its consumers. In this essay, would like to focus on false advertising which is the epidemic of obesity in our society.
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Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Law defines false advertising as, “the crime or tort of publishing, broadcasting, or otherwise publicly distributing an advertisement that notations an untrue, misleading, or deceptive representation or statement which was made knowingly or recklessly and with the intent to promote the sale of property, goods, or services to the public. ” To avoid law suits, the advertisers and manufacturers would do anything within their legal limits to promote their products.
One of the techniques is that they would be mentioning positive things about their product in giant bold print on the front of their merchandise, and would be leaving the unpleasant facts printed on the back or even in the small print. Words like, ‘natural,’ ‘heart healthy,’ and ‘better taste’ are just some examples of terms companies use to entice consumers to purchase their product. In fact, part of Frito-Lay’s extravagant marketing campaign includes marking its products with the words “all natural”.
Speaking of the term ‘natural,’ manufactures of snack foods do not monitor the use of the term, so there is a high probability that the “natural ingredients” were produced from chemicals and did not actually come from a naturally occurring plant. (Jacqueline) life look at the fine print of the reduce with the label “reduced gaffs, or “less sugar”, we could find out that most of these products replace sugar with artificial sweeteners. Also, based on FDA regulations, 0. 5 grams of any fat per serving are allowed to list as “O grams fat”.
So many manufactures would be replacing natural oil with hydrogenated oil since hydrogenated oil has less fat that natural oil or reduce serving size to be able to put O fat labeling on their products. Despite the increased use Of GM food products, consumer awareness and understanding of biotechnology innovation has grown slowly. Wingback, et al. (2003) found that even though college students surveyed felt confident in their knowledge of biotechnology practices, only 30% answered the questions correctly. L auk P 1) Lax, et al(2010) found that “students born outside the United States had more negative opinions about genetically modified foods than did American-born students” and “students who reported a higher level of acceptance of genetically modified foods felt more positively about the safety of the technology. ” (Lax p 1) According to Browne article “In Your Face” suggest that some of the advertisements people see multiple time a day on food encourage overeating. Overeating is written into the language that companies use -name like Big Gulp, Super gulp, Extreme Gulp.
The burger companies describe their biggest burgers with words like the Monster Burger, the Whopper, the Big Mac. The industry capitalizes on our belief that bigger is better and promotes large amounts of their least healthy foods. (Browne PA) There has been increasing obesity for years in the United States and the health care costs for obesity are now $147 billion annually. Browne p 1) Overweight people, especially children, are teased and victimized by discrimination.
Obese children have lower self-esteem and a higher risk of depression. They’re less likely to be admitted to college. And obese adults are less likely to be hired, have lower salaries, and are often viewed as lazy and less competent. The environment such as ads are the causative agent and it needs to be changed; the government policies such as children are required to get vaccinated and to ride in child safety seats, high taxes on cigarettes, ND put air bags in every car to protect people.
The government should take action to educate and protect its people. Obesity is difficult to fix and the results of numerous studies on treating obesity are very discouraging especially long-term results. (Browne p 1 ) The manufacturing and marketers are not their only fault that is causing to increase obesity rate. We need to educate ourselves and search for as many facts as possible to support choices. By doing so, we may not be victimized by false advertisements.