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Is advertising morally wrong?
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Advertisements helps businesses grow

Businesses need to grow in order to stay afloat. Different forms of advertising bring customers to these businesses. Once a relationship is formed between a business and a customer, there are benefits for both.
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The Argument

Advertising is simply a technique to help a business grow; there is nothing morally wrong about it. The benefits of advertising include attracting new customers and helping a business to sell more products and services to existing customers. Advertising can potentially increase visibility within the industry that it is operating in, helping to attract partners who can expand the business. [1] For an online business, advertising can attract people to the landing page, where you can convert the visitor into a customer. If the business has a physical presence, such as retail shops, using newspaper adverts or mailers to publicise a new location can increase the business’s foot traffic. A small business may even benefit from national advertising to expand into new territories, and advertising for new staff helps to spread awareness of current job vacancies the business is offering. Both of these methods will help a business to grow. Furthermore, advertising can help to amplify word of mouth. About 85% of small businesses report that they receive most of their customers through word of mouth, according to a study by Small Business Trends.[2]The more customers you gain through advertising, the more happy customers you have to spread word of mouth praise about the business. Apple hit many headlines in 2015 when they increased their global advertising budget by 50% to a record $1.8 billion.[3] By doing this, Apple recognises how essential advertising is to increase awareness of their products, so it is important to utilise online and offline channels to grow like Apple. Therefore, there is nothing morally wrong about advertising. It is an essential method employed to help the growth of businesses, and, without it, many industries and major corporations would not be anywhere close to the size that they are today.

Counter arguments

It is true that advertising can have an effect on growing a business. However, this may not always be the case in the foreseeable future. People are getting tired of adverts. As advertisers are bombarding consumers across platforms, consumers have been attempting to get away from them recently. There has been a huge increase in the use of ad blockers and subscription services where customers are free from marketing campaigns.[4] The advertising industry will struggle to adapt as Google and Facebook reshape their ad delivery and Netflix promises ad-free entertainment. When a business spends millions on their advertising campaigns, this may have an unhealthy impact on its consumers. Dr. Victor Strasbourger, a member of the AAP’s Council, stated that he believes advertising - and too much of it, has played a direct role in the increase of obesity in the United States over the last few decades. ‘We created a perfect storm between media use, junk and fast food advertising, and physical inactivity’.[5] Therefore, advertising with the aim of growing a business can be seen as immoral. When consumers are getting tired of advertising, and the impact that it can have on customer’s health, it is not right to expect society to experience these marketing campaigns just to make a business grow.



[P1] Advertising attracts customers to business. [P2] Advertising is good for business. [P3] Businesses would fail without advertising.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Advertising could potentially be harmful to a business


This page was last edited on Thursday, 2 Jul 2020 at 19:42 UTC

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