Advertising in Society: Beneficial or Harmful?

ADV 200 – Fall 2015

Final Paper:

Advertising in Society: Beneficial or Harmful?

This assignment requires you to critically consider the practices of advertising in society. The focus of your paper will be on the issue of whether advertising generally benefits or harms individuals and society. You need to compare and contrast the arguments made by the opposing factions in this debate. Be sure to include examples that illustrate the various arguments you explore. You must also keep in mind the economic implications of advertising for media publishers. Should advertising continue to be the primary means of funding our media? Why or why not?

Having thought through this topic will enable you to be more prepared for a career in marketing, advertising, communications and related fields because you will stand out from other potential future professionals who have given little, if any, thought to these issues.

For this paper, you should synthesize your personal values and perspectives with facts and viewpoints from experts in the field (including critics). While this is not meant to be an opinion paper, you should incorporate your informed perspective in addition to the viewpoints you gather from experts in the field of advertising and marketing as well as from technologists, legal experts, policy makers and/or consumer advocates. Be sure to reference your sources in APA format.

As you write your paper, be sure you indicate how some of the different groups (noted above) perceive this debate. Describe and analyze the assumptions each faction makes and note whether there is any consensus within groups or whether opinions vary.

To conclude this paper, consider the implications of your position on culture, society, as well as on the business of media.

Key issues to cover (in no particular order):

Provide a clear, strong argument either supporting or challenging the overall benefit of advertising to society.
What are some of the ways advertising helps our society? Who tends to make these arguments?
What are the economic effects of advertising? Does it lower the price of products?
What do some people say are the detrimental effects of advertising on society? Who are the people who tend to make these types of arguments?
Provide some examples of actions that advertisers or their agencies may take that would demonstrate social responsibility and ethical practices.
Interpret and discuss the assumptions and quality of evidence provided by the various factions in this debate.
Identify which issues you weighed more heavily than other issues and why in arriving at your position.
Is there a way to reconcile the needs of advertisers and consumers? Keep in mind the question of how is media supposed to be funded?

Please type your paper in 12-point font with 1” margins, double-spaced, with a length of 8 – 10 pages (not including references).

**An initial draft of your paper should be submitted on Canvas before class on December 8 and should include a complete introductory paragraph with thesis statement along with an outline of the rest of the paper. References must be included.

This paper is worth 100 points (20% of your final grade) and will be based upon the following criteria:

Thesis/argument: provides a clear, strong argument that goes beyond description, but also addresses important objections.
Problem identification: clearly identifies the issues, relevant information, and uncertainties including absence of single “correct” solution.
Explores interpretations and connections: When analyzing and reporting evidence, student recognizes and controls for own biases, articulates assumptions and reasoning associated with alternative points of view, and organizes information in meaningful ways to demonstrate problem complexities.
Information literacy: Numerous, varied, and relevant details and facts provided as evidence to support issues and arguments. Uses at least three sources beyond classroom text and appropriately cites work in APA format.
Organization: Clear, logical organization of paper that develops arguments/issues appropriately; avoids tangents onto irrelevant material.
Writing mechanics: Uses appropriate spelling, grammar, syntax, and paragraph development.p(10)

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