In many ways, advertising does not conform to the basic tenets of democracy. Advertising is often seen to promote affluent lifestyle and tends to ignore the harsh realities of life. Advertising creates a big divide between big business houses and small business entities.
Democracy has equality as its integral part. There are many ways in which advertising links to the issues of equality.
Cost: Advertising involves enormous costs. Advertising a brand usually involves crores of rupees. The money that is spent on advertising is for
The high costs involved mean that only large companies can advertise. People owning small businesses cannot afford to do so. Hence people who sell home-made pickles, papads, jams, etc. are not as valued by consumers as the branded products. These homemade items have to be sold in local weekly markets only.
Loss of livelihood of small businessmen: Advertisements create a wrong notion in the people's minds regarding product quality. They make us believe that packaged and branded products are far superior in quality than the non-branded ones. But in reality, the quality of the product is not related much to the packaging that it comes in. This tendency of people of shifting to branded products and ignoring the non-branded ones results in the loss of livelihood of many small businessmen.
Many advertisements by protein drink brands are good examples of certain tall claims made by these brands. For example, one of the brands claims that a child can become taller and sharper by using that drink. Another brand claims that it will promote better growth of brain and child can become as intelligent as Einstein. The truth is far from what the brands claim. Nobody can become taller and sharper by using a protein drink. A person becomes tall because tallness is in his/her gene. A child can grow better with help of proper nutrition and exercise. A child can become intelligent by rigorous practice and regular study.
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