FINAL PAPER - ADVERTISING ITS EVOLUTION AND IMPACT Britany...

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ADVERTISING: ITS EVOLUTION AND IMPACTBritany Van BlakeINTROMass media is comprised of many facets, each with its own valuable contributions to the industry as a whole. Advertising has always been a driving power—first locally, and now globally with worldwide appeal. It has gone through important legislative and technological changes to become the dynamic force it is today, and it will continue to change to ensure it reaches the appropriate markets in a timely, effective way.
2EVOLUTION OF ADVERTISINGThroughout its history, advertising has seen changes related to government, the Internet, and the international community.Our country has supported advertising for nearly a century. In 1925, Herbert Hoover, the Secretary of Commerce, remarked that “advertising is a vital force in our national life” (Leach, 375). But with such importance, the need to control such a force becomes equally important.The United States government began regulating advertising in 1914 with the Federal Trade Commission Act. This Act states that claims in ads “must be truthful, cannot be deceptive or unfair, and must be evidence-based” ().To illustrate one of the reasons why the FTC Act was—and still is—necessary, consider this: there are documented advertisements for a “universal panacea” from the 1950s—forty yearsafter the FTC Act was passed (McGinley, 2012). Thorazine had been recommended as a cure for nearly everything, from menopause to childhood nausea to “senile agitation” (McGinley, 2012). In actuality, this drug is strictly an antipsychotic, and—contrary to its claims—may increase the risk of death in elderly patients with dementia, a possible cause of their aforementioned “agitation” (drugs.com). Even after the FTC Act was created, dishonesty in advertising was a huge problem. While advertising was not strictly included in the FTC Act, by 1925 “FTC orders against false and misleading advertising constituted 75 percent of all orders issued” (Nelson, 2004). If there was no legal incentive to dissuade advertisers from lying to consumers, they would be able to scam people easily, and with impunity.
3Lawmakers have also taken measures to protect minors from potentially harmful advertising with anti-tobacco legislature. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) explains that the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act in 1970 eliminated TV and radio ads for cigarettes; and in 2009, tobacco products were banned from using words like “light” or “mild” toseem less unhealthy, and the colors of packaging was limited in an attempt to curb their appeal tochildren. These are only a few of the laws passed to prevent tobacco advertisements targeting youth; products like alcoholic beverages or other adult-oriented advertisements are also more heavily regulated than others.

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