The Instigator
OtakuJordan
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points
The Contender
Cooldudebro
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Advertising is harmful to society

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
OtakuJordan
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/2/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,585 times Debate No: 43276
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

OtakuJordan

Pro

This debate is for the first round of the Official Missed Out Tournament. (http://www.debate.org...)

The first round will be for acceptance. Best of luck.
Cooldudebro

Con

I accept! Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
OtakuJordan

Pro

Thank you for accepting, Con.

I will be making three contentions in this debate:

1. Advertising discourages rational decision-making
2. Advertising creates a consumer culture
3. Advertising adversely affects the cognitive ability of the audience

Contention #1 - Advertising discourages rational decision-making

According to CEO Insights, "Without advertisement not a single farm or company can grow in this world of competition."[1] The obvious implication of this is that it is not the quality of the product that sells it in today's society, but the aggressiveness of the marketers who advertise it. This is especially true when we consider the rampant dishonesty within advertising. To examine just one industry, nine out of ten people find broadband advertising to be misleading.[2]

Richard Pollay, author of The Distorted Mirror: Reflection on the Unintended Consequences of Advertising, analogizes advertising as a type of "brain surgery." Pollay says that ads are designed to "attract attention, change attitudes, and to command our behavior."[3]

For an amusing yet somewhat frightening look at the potential power of advertising, please watch the video on the side.

Contention #2 - Advertising creates a consumer culture
While consumption is naturally an essential part of a capitalist society, it needs to be kept in balance with "producerism" in order to keep it from turning into consumerism. It is worth quoting Professor Amitai Etzioni at length here to explain my point:

What needs to be eradicated, or at least greatly tempered, is consumerism: the obsession with acquisition that has become the organizing principle of American life. This is not the same thing as capitalism, nor is it the same thing as consumption. To explain the difference, it is useful to draw on Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of human needs. At the bottom of this hierarchy are basic creature comforts; once these are sated, more satisfaction is drawn from affection, self-esteem and, finally, self-actualization. As long as consumption is focused on satisfying basic human needs -- safety, shelter, food, clothing, health care, education -- it is not consumerism. But when, on attempts to satisfy these higher needs through the simple acquisition of goods and services, consumption turns into consumerism -- and consumerism becomes a social disease.

The link to the economic crisis should be obvious. A culture in which the urge to consume dominates the psychology of citizens is a culture in which people will do most anything to acquire the means to consume -- working slavish hours, behaving rapaciously in their business pursuits, and even bending the rules in order to maximize their earnings. They will also buy homes beyond their means and think nothing of running up credit-card debt. It therefore seems safe to say that consumerism is, as much as anything else, responsible for the current economic mess.[4]

92% of respondents in a poll said that television commercials aimed at children are responsible for making children materialistic.[5]

Contention #3 - Advertising adversely affects the cognitive ability of the audience
Advertising defines and redefines the desires and tastes of the public. Harnessing the power of media, advertisers are able to cause people to desire irrational products, lifestyles and body images.

For example, a report by the British Medical Association called for advertisers to stop featuring "abnormally thin" women in their advertisements as it was causing girls to attempt to emulate the models.[6] This clearly indicates the power of the media to create irrational desires and thoughts within the minds of their audience.

Sources
1. http://www.theceoinsights.com...
2. http://www.virgin.com...
3. http://hilo.hawaii.edu...
4. http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
5. http://www.csun.edu...
6. http://www.theguardian.com...
Cooldudebro

Con

Hello! I am here to show you advertising is not harmful to society. Before we can continue, let me give you the definition or harmful and advertising.

Advertising: or advertising in business is a form of marketing communication used to encourage, persuade, or manipulate an audience (viewers, readers or listeners; sometimes a specific group) to take or continue to take some action.

Harmful: causing or likely to cause harm.

Harm: physical injury, esp. that which is deliberately inflicted

This should conclude the debate right here. Advertising does not cause physical harm. However, I will still debate on how society would be changed for the worse without advertising.

Case 1: Advertising of product

Many famous inventions would be In discovered by the people if they did not have advertising to let the people know they were invented. All these classic inventions would never have been that popular, and would have failed.

Case 2: Advertising of views

Remember, advertising, as shown above and I quote. "Is a form a market communication" You could not tell your friend you hate vegetables, or that you love the new hit video game! You could not even ask a question without advertising your own views! You could not tell anyone how you think! You would have to keep it to yourself!

Case 3: Advertising of signs, commercials, and billboards

If advertising were banned or never existed, you could never post a sign for a service you do. No more commercials would be allowed, adding to inventions getting no publicity, and you could not post any billboards over anything, including your own building, telling even your company's name!

These are more than valid reasons why the world would be a lot worse without advertising. Thank you for your time and the opponent for making this debate.
Debate Round No. 2
OtakuJordan

Pro

"Harm: physical injury, esp. that which is deliberately inflicted

This should conclude the debate right here. Advertising does not cause physical harm. However, I will still debate on how society would be changed for the worse without advertising."

I do not know where my opponent got his unattributed definition of "harm," but I would like to offer this proper definition from the well-respected Merriam-Webster: "physical or mental damage or injury : something that causes someone or something to be hurt, broken, made less valuable or successful, etc."[1]

With this definition, it is clear that harm does not refer only to physical injury.

"Case 1: Advertising of product

Many famous inventions would be In discovered by the people if they did not have advertising to let the people know they were invented. All these classic inventions would never have been that popular, and would have failed."

Given that humanity was able to advance prior to the dawn of commercial advertising, I fail to see any reason why this should be true. Also, my opponent failed to provide any evidence of this claim.

If something is useful it will generally be used.

"Case 2: Advertising of views

Remember, advertising, as shown above and I quote. "Is a form a market communication" You could not tell your friend you hate vegetables, or that you love the new hit video game! You could not even ask a question without advertising your own views! You could not tell anyone how you think! You would have to keep it to yourself!"

The definition of advertising you presented stated "advertising in business is a form of marketing communication used to encourage, persuade, or manipulate an audience (viewers, readers or listeners; sometimes a specific group) to take or continue to take some action."

Clearly, "marketing communication" does not pertain to ordinary interpersonal communication.

"Case 3: Advertising of signs, commercials, and billboards

If advertising were banned or never existed, you could never post a sign for a service you do. No more commercials would be allowed, adding to inventions getting no publicity, and you could not post any billboards over anything, including your own building, telling even your company's name!"

I do not need to prove that advertising should be banned in order to win this debate. I only need to prove that it harms society.

Conclusion
None of my opponent's contentions were relevant to this debate. Simply because something can be beneficial does not mean it is not also harmful.

I would like to point out that my opponent did not refute any of my contentions. They may now be considered to be dropped arguments and established points in this debate.

Sources
1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Cooldudebro

Con

I will now try to render your 2nd round false. I am going to use common sense to disprove everything.

Rebuttal 1:

It doesn't discourage rational thought, it leads it somewhere else! Like, you see a commercial that advertises young inventors and how they make so much money, so naturally, you want to think of ideas to make an invention to earn money! This invention might do the world good. Lets go to another commercial. Game stop has a sale on video games! This may make you finally realize what you want to do with a college education! You love video games, so you want to make them for other people to enjoy! Also, dishonest advertising may lead to you researching the topic, and writing a well thought out article stating which is the best! You could also ask the company about their rates and see if it is too high and see it's quality.

Rebuttal 2:

That poll you stated, are just opinions. not cold, hard, undisputed facts! Also, isn't consumer culture good?

Rebuttal 3:

People want what people want! Anything is possible if you put your mind to it! You forgot to mention that girls want to be thin anyways. Name 3 women who actually not want the thin bodies? They see them not just in advertising, but in everyday life.

I have disproved the pros argument just off of sheer common sense. This has shown that advertising is not harmful to society. Thank you!
Debate Round No. 3
OtakuJordan

Pro

"Rebuttal 1: It doesn't discourage rational thought, it leads it somewhere else! Like, you see a commercial that advertises young inventors and how they make so much money, so naturally, you want to think of ideas to make an invention to earn money! This invention might do the world good. Lets go to another commercial. Game stop has a sale on video games! This may make you finally realize what you want to do with a college education! You love video games, so you want to make them for other people to enjoy! Also, dishonest advertising may lead to you researching the topic, and writing a well thought out article stating which is the best! You could also ask the company about their rates and see if it is too high and see it's quality."

Saying that an advertisement may trigger the occasional productive string of thought does not disprove that advertisement discourages rational thought, nor does it refute the evidence I provided that advertising leads people to purchase products for reasons other than quality and price.

Also, saying that dishonest advertising is good because it gives you the opportunity to research the products is like saying that it is good to be lied to because it gives you the opportunity to discover the truth.

"Rebuttal 2: That poll you stated, are just opinions. not cold, hard, undisputed facts! Also, isn't consumer culture good?"

The irony of this is that my opponent opened his R3 speech by saying, "I will now try to render your 2nd round false. I am going to use common sense to disprove everything."

But that aside, while I agree that the poll I referenced was a presentation of opinion (because that's what polls are), that does not mean that it may be overlooked. Expert opinion is certainly a valid source in debate, and parents are without a doubt the best source available on the behavior of their children. If my opponent would like to succesfully discredit the poll, he must do so by presenting an alternative poll or study.

Your question of "Also, isn't consumer culture good?" shows me that you did not bother to fully read my R2 speech. Within it, I quoted sociologist Prof. Amitai Etzioni at length on the difference between consumerism and consumption, and why the former is harmful to society.

"Rebuttal 3: People want what people want! Anything is possible if you put your mind to it! You forgot to mention that girls want to be thin anyways. Name 3 women who actually not want the thin bodies? They see them not just in advertising, but in everyday life."

Actually, society's aesthetics of beauty are extremely fluid and subject to change by media influence. Women who were "plump" or "buxom" were once considered to be attractive in American culture, while slender women were considered to look sickly.[1] There are many cultures even today that consider a heavyset woman to be more beautiful than a slender one.[2]

Also, the point of the article was not that girls developed a desire to be "thin" because of advertising, but rather that they developed a desire to be underweight to the point of it being dangerous to their health.

Conclusion
My opponent failed to adequately rebut my contentions showing the harmfulness of advertising to society, not only because he failed to properly source his arguments but because the "common sense" he attempted to argue from was horribly flawed.

I would like to close by reminding Con that he may not raise new arguments in this final round.

Please vote Pro.

Sources
1. http://www.uni-regensburg.de...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Cooldudebro

Con

Rebuttal 1:

You buy the items because you think you can use them.

Think, two commercials say they have the best car insurance, so you check both out, and find which is better!

Rebuttal 2:

However, many people on that poll are not experts on the subject, which may lead to a bias or a vote without any facts to back it up.

Consumer culture is culture. Culture is good because in history, that is what we learn in class.

Rebuttal 3:

However, this is a preference. If they want to become skinny, it is a boost to their drive to achieve their goal. If they don't want to, then they stay the same. You also forget there are outside influences and experiences that may lead them to change.

I have successfully rebut every argument he has made. Let me remind the pro that BOP is on him. Which means, he must successfully show advertising is harmful to society. Thank you. Vote con!
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by spiderman12345 3 years ago
spiderman12345
So true very true
Posted by OtakuJordan 3 years ago
OtakuJordan
Con presented an unsourced def that said that's what it is. I refuted it with a def from Merriam-Webster.
Posted by DudeStop 3 years ago
DudeStop
How did physical pain become the definition of harm.
Posted by Cooldudebro 3 years ago
Cooldudebro
np
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
Thanks for the message!
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
Hey, how do I get in on these tournaments? Could you message me the answer?
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
Hey, how do I get in on these tournaments? Could you message me the answer?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
OtakuJordanCooldudebroTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: It doesn't look like Con took this very seriously. Pro's arguments were well articulated and sourced, Con's were mainly assertions with no evidence and limited logical reasoning behind them. Pro's responses were solid, while Con appeared dismissive most of the time.
Vote Placed by Jay-D 3 years ago
Jay-D
OtakuJordanCooldudebroTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: I agree with Con's stand on the debate, but his arguments seemed a bit aloof to me (especially his "common sense" arguments). Also, Con didn't provide a single source to support his premise. Pro made some very effective rebuttals.