Do you think marketing merely reflects the needs and wants of consumers, or do you think marketing creates unnecessary needs and wants?

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Marketing which allows consumers to make informed choices seems ethically neutral or even good. For example, companies that are building hybrid or electric cars can inform customers of how their vehicles reduce use of gasoline and carbon footprints. This allows customers to make informed choices that save money over a vehicle's life cycle in an environmentally responsible manner.

Other types of marketing, though, seem to harm the customers they target. Much of marketing aimed towards women, and especially towards teenage girls, has a negative impact on body image and can lead to anything from wasted money to psychological harm.

Many advertisers create unrealistic images of the female body and invent flaws that they claim their products will fill. Normal body shapes are demonized in order to sell weight loss products that are often ineffective. Normal fat distribution is demonized as "cellulite" and then marketers advertise a variety of expensive and ineffective solutions to what is simply a normal characteristic of the human body.

Many technological and convenience products also seem to create false needs. For example, many "smart home" products seem to create rather than address needs. For example, smart home products allow people to turn on lights using their voices rather than by walking a few feet and flicking a light switch. Rather than smart, this seems a dumb idea as every one of these remote devices decreases activity levels and increases obesity and other health problems due to inactivity. Few people actually need products which turn on stoves or light switches remotely.

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