Post 3- Siyu Liu

       Advertising is key for businesses to spread and showcase their products. They spend millions of dollars to ensure their ads could show up in daily newspapers, websites, billboards, or anything that receives attention from public’s eyes. For a new and fresh business to increase market and profit or just to get their name out there, they resort to creating advertisements. For matured and experienced businesses, they want to come up with innovative and different ideas for each new campaign and sometimes neglect what are or aren’t approriate. The audiences easily bypass those ads on the streets or flip them over the papers, however when one sits down and starts to analyze certain ads, he or she will discover the controversial issues of what had been presented.

“Adverting is an over $130 billion a year industry and affects all of us throughout our lives…. But the ads sell a great deal more than products. They sell values, images and concepts of success and worth, love and sexuality, popularity and normalcy.” (Killborne,121).

“But what does society, and especially teenagers, learn from the advertising images that proliferate in the mass media? On the most obvious level they learn the stereotypes.” (Kilborne, 122).

Killborne says that the portrayal of women in advertising is in need of change. (122) They are often made to look like the “conventional beauty” or as a sex object. The female audiences would look at that to strive looking like that or the male audiences would raise their standards of women when comes to mating. Often the problems do not just occur on how the women are posed, but also the artificiality in cosmetics and photoshop. Many celebrities grace the covers of magazines and catalogs and say they look nothing like what have been printed and produced and sometimes wish they did.

“Although apologists for the advertising industry claim that advertising is predominantly informative, careful scrutiny of magazine, television, and other imagistic ads indicate that it is overwhelmingly persuasive and symbolic and that its images not only attempt to sell the product by associating it with certain socially desirable qualities, but they sell as well as worldview, a lifestyle and value system congruent with the imperatives of consumer capitalism.” (Kellner, 127)

Kellner says these pervasive images have or reflect desirable traits in popular culture with the products offered. Most of the images are “national scandal and raises the question of what can be done to combat the excesses of consumer capitalism”’ (130). An alternative path for the industry to create alternative anti-advertising messages is to list facts about their products and use models of all shapes and color, with flaws and all, and no photoshop. An excellent example is the recent aerie campaign:


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