How does society perceive or judge advertising?

Example: Bill owns a BMW because he is a one star colonel in the U.S. military. However, the BMW seems (appears to be) to him to be suited to an Officer, not to an Enlisted person. 

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I am not sure how your example is related to this question.  In addition, it certainly contains some mistakes.  A “one-star” officer would be a brigadier general, not a colonel.  There would be no reason to see a colonel as an enlisted man, regardless of what he drives as he is a very senior officer.  Therefore, I cannot answer this in terms of the example.   I will try to answer it without reference to that example.

Our society perceives and judges advertising in different ways.  Different groups see it differently.  For much of society, advertisements are judged mostly for how interesting they are.  For example, the best new ads are typically aired during the Super Bowl.  This has become an annual event and people watch the game to see the ads.  They typically judge these ads based on how creative they are.  They do not judge them based on how well they portray a product or how effectively they sell the product.  Instead, the ads are judged mainly on their entertainment value. 

Other people in our society perceive ads as ways of manipulating the public and they judge the ads in that light.  For example, they are very critical of how ads can promote bad behaviors such as overeating or overindulging in sugary drinks.  They feel that the ads promote behaviors which are bad for people’s health and therefore bad for society.  These people judge ads based on how manipulative they feel the ads are and based on what the ad is promoting.

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