Many individuals and groups believe that advertising is harmful. This work seeks to research and examine this issue and determine the actual elements of harm that are connected to advertising and further to persuade the reader that advertising is indeed harmful.
The Public Health Association states in a report entitled: “Direct-to-Consumer Advertising Harmful Says PHA” published October 6, 2006 that it is “welcoming reports that the Government may soon ban direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription medicines.”(Scoop Health, 2006) The Director of the Public Health Association, Dr. Gay Keating states that evidence exists that “direct-to-consumer advertising causes harm” because “there is a risk that people will purchase pharmaceutical based not on what’s best for their health, but on which company produces the most convincing advertisements.” (Scoop Health, 2006)
II. MARKETING AND ADVERTISING HARMFUL TO CHILDREN’S HEALTH
In a September 28, 2002 report in ‘The Lancet’ entitled: “Marketing and Advertising: Harmful to Children’s Health” it is stated that: “One of the biggest contributors to the explosive increase in childhood obesity, including such complications as type 2 diabetes, is aggressive marketing and advertising by the food industry according to a group called Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children Coalition (SCEC).” (McLellan, 2002) It is only in the past ten years that marketing directly to children have been viewed as acceptable with corporation seizing the opportunity spending “approximately US$12 billion on such efforts” (McLellan, 2002) in 1999 alone. The harms to children by being “inundated with commercialism and surrounded by rampant materialism” (McLellan, 2002) include but is not limited to: