Most recently my views were challenged towards advertisers and the persuasive techniques used to get people to spend. I identify the "spending concept" as the main artery to the life and power of capitalism. Therefore advertising is a large part of the spine of capitalism.
After taking a closer look at the elements or components of how advertising works, I concluded that advertising is a psychological ill that is more recognizable today. The playing field is not fair. There is a need for educating society about the good and the bad of advertisings persuasive or influencing techniques and how capitalism fuels the need for persuasive techniques.
I believe that education of capitalist practices and its connection to advertisers can be a key element to help fortify an economy that is struggling. The education should included the principles of capitalism along with the process of advertising. I suggest that capitalism can and does create a landscape that influences advertising to target some groups more than others because of their studied spending habits. It is all about the bottom line for advertisers and capitalist. I have included some information I shared in a previous forum discussion thats describe the situation in regards to African American consumers.
African Americans are being targeted because of what advertiser have learned and continue to learn about spending habits. By 2013 African American spending will be 1.2 trillion. But, only 18% of American business are black owned and only make 135 billion in sales. There are an estimated 42 million African Americans who earn an average of 32,000 dollars a year. With these numbers we can determine that 1.3 trillion dollars are earned on the average by African Americans.
This information shows that African Americans spend more than 95% of their income. How could this be? Target Market News shared an article that says the top 25 advertisers are continuing to spend more advertising dollars in the African American demographic. I would like to challenge others to consider, what I suggest is the obvious, African Americans and their culture of spending is being targeted; not to help educate on healthy spending habits but to take advantage of the disparity.
There needs to be some priority on all people to be healthier consumers but especially with a group of people who spend as much as they make. Advertisers warn, inform and educate individuals of cancers, diabetes, heart disease and so on, but do not inform, warn or educate enough about the side affects of advertising and its relationship with capitalism.
If advertisers are going to continue to use persuasive techniques where there is no fair balance of knowledge in reference to these techniques, the disparity will continue. "Persuasion is most likely to occur in a responsible way and fair way if both sides have equal opportunity to persuade and if each has approximately equivalent ability and access to the media of communication" (Larson, 1995, p.11). So if a group is targeted, unless they have equal access as the advertisers to persuade, it is an unfair and unequal experience.
I hope to identify a campaign of advertising that educates people about advertising and capitalism. I think this can help us to reclaim control over our economy and add some new positive approaches to redeveloping Americas struggling education system.
I am optimistic about the opportunity for moral advertising therefore moral persuasion. What I have come to understand is that persuasive techniques can be used to educate as well, capitalism and advertising can work on a fair or fairer playing ground.
Larson, Charles U. (1995). Persuasion, Reception and Responsibility. Wadsworth Publishing Company Northern Illinois University.