Advertising Manipulation Argumentative Essay Example

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Advertising: Manipulation or Information



I am new to so I apologize for any mistakes.

I would like to propose a debate on the idea of Advertising: Manipulation or Information. Currently, media have acquired great importance. But each of us more than once observed that, in discussing the same event, different sources give different facts. Advertising distributes information in order to attract the attention of potential consumers.

In my opinion, in a society, where the dominant value is to maximize profits, advertising will turn into manipulation. Manipulation can be either direct violence information. On the one hand, a person has to do what he does not want to. On the other, what he does seem to be voluntary, but that eventually brings him some damage. Advertising, filling our media reflects both of these option. Information violence manifests itself in the way of advertising. If it was carried out in a strictly fixed time and the viewer could freely choose. In fact, it is a most unexpected way intrudes into other programs, preventing their normal and full perception.
The same thing on the Internet: you just think of the text, when different advertise appear that can't immediately remove it.

It's not all the information I want to say, but I hope, that I have made my idea clear.

Thank you for your time, I hope you accept this challenge.


I'd like to welcome my opponent to DDO and wish her luck.

First, I'd like to start out with some definitions so we're all talking about the same thing here.

Advertise: to announce or praise (a product, service, etc.) in some public medium of communication in order to induce people to buy or use it: to advertise a new brand of toothpaste. [1]

Manipulate: to manage or influence skillfully, especially in an unfair manner. [2]

Manipulation: the act of manipulating. [3]

Information: knowledge communicated or received concerning a particular fact or circumstance. [4]

Media: the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, and magazines, that reach or influence people widely. [5]

Advertising: the act or practice of calling public attention to one's product, service, need, etc., especially by paid announcements in newspapers and magazines, over radio or television, on billboards, etc. [6]

I'll summarize my opponent's case as follows:

P1: Media is considered important, yet report different facts.
P2: In societies that seek to maximize profits, advertising turns into manipulation.
P3: Advertising is information violence.
C: Advertising is manipulation

I'm sorry if that's not quite what you were trying to say but I tried to pick out your major points.

P1: Media is considered important, yet report different facts.
Media of course has two separate contexts - media as in the form of communication or media as in the corporations that own the form of communication (e.g. New York Times, ABC, BBC, etc.). I would argue that this is good thing. Having multiple sources of information is critical to better understanding our world and validating the truthfulness of any media outlet. I don't see how my opponent could be down on media for this or why the media should be blamed for any supposed evil of advertising.

P2: In societies that seek to maximize profits, advertising turns into manipulation.
I'm not sure what societies in particular that my opponent is referring to but I'll assume those that are at least partially capitalistic. Unlike the free societies where capitalism is practiced, unfree societies are where one is forced to do things against their will. Take for example, Saudi Arabia where anyone of non-Muslim belief is not able to openly practice their religion. Or even Russia when it was under Communist rule, you bought a certain brand because that is all that the State offered. That is being forced to do something against your will.

Advertising allows the consumer to be aware of various products and who offers them. The buyer then makes a choice based on their own needs, preferences and ability to buy. This is hardly manipulation. In order to manipulate the advertiser would have to intentionally unfairly influence the buyer. But how is this happening? All advertisers freely market their wares in free societies so there is no unfair influence that I can tell.

P3: Advertising is information violence.
I'm not quite sure what Pro means by information violence. It seems this is a reference to advertising making people do what they don't want to do against their own interest. This is simply untrue. No matter what economic system is employed people always act in their perceived best interest. Again, with Russia during the Soviet era there was a huge black market for goods not allowed by the state. So even when advertising isn't allowed people still seek out the goods they want. Whether those goods are bad for their interest is not the fault of advertising.

My opponent's entire case is an assertion. If she cares to back up her claims with facts, I'll rebut those. Since, the burden on proof is on Pro, I fail to see how she has made her case.



Klarissa forfeited this round.


The case for advertising

To cast dispersion on such a broad swathe of industry is astounding. Advertising is clearly information and not manipulation. Let's look at two categories of advertising that serve the public good:

1. Public Service Announcements (PSA)
PSA's can be used to inform, educate and motivate the public about non-commercial issues, such as HIV/AIDS, political ideology, energy conservation and deforestation.

David Ogilvy once said, "Advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interest—it is much too powerful a tool to use solely for commercial purposes."

Perhaps, the most remembered is the Smokey Bear commercials with Smokey saying, "Only you can prevent forest fires". There's hardly an adult alive in the US today who does not remember that saying when camping. Countless forest fires have probably been saved through the use of PSA advertising.

2. Political Advertisements
Everyone knows who the two major candidates for US president are but what about Governor or State treasurer? The sad reality is the lesser known candidates don't have a chance to get their message out for free like major ones do. These unknowns pay for advertising which helps level the playing field somewhat. It would be a sad day when the public only got to hear from the rich parties such as Democrats and Republicans. Political advertisements serve a useful purpose to get information out to the masses.

So, clearly advertising need not be even commercial in nature, so pro's premise #2 is false. But even when advertising is commercial in nature it's not manipulation. Think if you're a small business owner, say a bike shop, how would anyone know your location that didn't live in the immediate area? They wouldn't. Businesses need to reach outside their small neighborhood to be successful. Nobody's twisting arms saying you have to buy. They're just saying look here we are, here's what we have. That's the way it's been for thousands of years and businesses will continue to offer us the goods that we want. And we'll know about it through advertising.


Klarissa forfeited this round.


My opponent has not responded to any of my arguments. I have shown that advertising has many useful purposes such as providing information about goods in the marketplace or PSAs that give us information for the public good. I, therefore, urge you to vote Con.
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style:OpenPoint System:7 Point
Updated:6 years agoStatus:Voting Period
Viewed:15,704 timesDebate No:18052

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