Consumers are faced with increasing numbers of advertisements from competing companies. To what extent do you think are consumers influenced by advertisements? What measures can be taken to protect them?
Television screens, newspapers, buses, and almost all city streets are flooded by all kinds of advertisements. This has both advantages and disadvantages to consumers who are unavoidably influenced, though the degrees vary from person to person.
Because of the advertisements placed by many competing companies, consumers are able to learn about certain new products rapidly. If a product happens to be what some consumers need, they might be attracted to make a purchase and have trial use. If it turns out to be really good, people would set about recommending it to friends and the sales of this product will go up very quickly. So, we see this is a win-win situation both to consumers and manufacturers and we also see that consumers are not just influenced profoundly all at once. It takes time for them to establish faith in the advertised products.
In most cases, the advertised products are good and worth buying. But there are also cases where the effects or functions of a certain product are much exaggerated and it will definitely fool some people when they are attracted all at once and go to buy it. Since a product can only win the market through its quality and its long established fame, there’s every reason to believe that those fake or much exaggerated products will eventually lose their market shares and die out. Thus, we see that the market is selective and consumers are sensible in the long term.
In developed countries, there are strict censorship and supervising systems regarding advertising. If the advertisement put up by a company fails to honor the advertised effects, it would be termed as fraud, thus violating the law which could lead to really serious result. In most cases, the manufacturing company would be fined so heavily that it would be difficult for it to survive any longer.
From the foregoing discussion, we can see that advertisements influence consumers both favorably and unfavorably and the degrees of this influence differ from person to person. To protect consumers, governments can follow the practice of developed countries by enforcing really strict censorship and supervising laws in regard to advertising as a whole.