Advertising, while helpful for business is harmful in all other respects. First of all it is damaging to the human mind. It insidiously creates wants and needs that were not there before, enforces unrealistic expectations and objectifies others. It makes it feel as if people are not good enough and they need material objects to be good. Second of all, advertising are an annoyance that gets in the way of enjoying a good show.
Is advertising harmful? I maintain it is. It undermines the integrity of our society. It already has done that. Much advertisement appeals the customers' prejudices, and addictions to lure and reel in customers. Much advertising also misrepresents the product to some extent. I have seldom seen a media advertisement that I would consider totally honest. Such an ad would simply set wares out for inspection as in a market and let the customer take the initiative. Of course the need to make a living is behind the tricks and snares, but the simple need to make a living has escalated and made a fraudulent society.
Advertising is a major part of our economic system, without it the economy would crash. We need it to inform people of products and services which in turn generates more jobs. I agree that sometimes advertising goes a bit far and is sometimes unnecessary but if it was tweaked a bit I think it would be fine and help strengthen our economy.
No, advertising is not harmful, because it is a good way for people to conduct business. Without advertising, people might not know that there are products available for them that can really help them, or that they want to buy. Advertising is only a way to connect purchasers with products. It is not harmful, by itself.