I am not the biggest fan of capitalism, but advertising is not necessarily bad for our society and is not necessarily bad for people to view. It gives people ideas about products that are available and helps out businesses that might need it. Overall, while deceptive and slimy at times, advertising is a good way for companies to spread the word and to make profit.
It is needed so that people can buy your product or know what it is about. If you don't have advertisement the your product or whatever you're selling isn't going to sell well. It will also sell a lot more if your advertisement is attracting and well done then you will get your consumers.
I believe that advertising is a good thing for society because in informs consumers of products that are available to them. Although these products can range from one end of the spectrum to the other, I believe all persons needs can be addressed from advertising. It can also inform people of cheaper options for where to buy their products.
While I agree capitalism has is benefits and downfalls, when this question sets in my mind, the only thing I can really think of is how advertisements reinforce stereotyped gender roles and discrimination. Consistently ads have highlighted their own bias and caused people to feel inferior. Statements ranging from, "women are the only people who eat yogurt" to " you'll never be beautiful without make-up," to "Men must have abs" to "you're chubby, lose weight," it becomes this self esteem quenching torrent of manipulative half truths.
Perhaps I am blinded by my equality enforcing, discrimination critical nature, but overall I see advertisements as unfortunate and going much to far. I don't want to leave my technology feeling like I'll never fit in society, I want to leave it chuckling at the show I meant to watch in the first place.