Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Advertising Needs a Makeover
An ad surfaced featuring the photoof Rehteah Parsons, a 17 Canadian girl who hanged herself, on a dating website’sbanner ad. So this is what advertising has come to? Using a suicide victim’s Facebook photo to promote a dating website? Advertisements have gotten so out of control that they are actually starting to negatively affect people’s lives. Imagine how Parsons’ family felt when they tried to innocently log onto Facebook and are faced with a photo of their deceased daughter in a ridiculous dating site ad without her permission. This ad was an invasion of privacy and caused an obvious emotional trigger for those who knew her story. And for what? So that one more irrelevant banner ad could attempt to make itself present to consumers?
That is why I feel that ad blocking technology is saving the Internet. The amount of advertising consumers are forced to look at simply by logging onto a webpage is ridiculous. I’ve avoided using specific websites for that reason alone. Ad blockers will automatically eliminate most display ads, search ads, video ads and even some sponsored content. I can’t imagine a better world than a one where I can watch a YouTube video without five minutes of ad-videos playing first.
As clearly shown with the Rehteah Parsons case, advertising can be dangerous. One of the main consumers of these ads are children. With children having more and more access to the internet and smart phones, they are exposed to ads that are meant for teens and adults. In a blog post about the ethics of advertising with children, it is noted that children take in more than 40,000 ads on television alone.
Children are sponges and absorb everything they are exposed to, more than any other stage of life. If they see an ad for a McDonald’s hamburger and then see kids their age enjoying them, they are going to want one. This may be one of the causes of childhood obesity, which is quickly becoming a serious problem in our country.
Advertisements are lurking around every corner. Not so much lurking and shouting at you with their flashing lights and bright colors. They are frustrating and are becoming redundant. When’s the last time that you clicked on a banner ad? There needs to be a new, more effective ad system that doesn’t leave the consumer angry. What that is, I’m not sure, but I hope someone figures it out soon.