How is the question "Is advertising information or manipulation" related to Social Problems?


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The major connection between this question and social problems is the idea that advertising can manipulate people into overconsumption, thus leading to a number of problems. 

The question of whether advertising is manipulation is important because if advertisements manipulate us, they will make us more likely to buy things we otherwise would not have bought.  Advertisements make us think that we need things that we really do not need.  In this way, advertisements make us more materialistic. 

Materialism can be connected to social problems.  First of all, materialism can help lead to problems of obesity.  People who have things like giant TVs and video games are less likely to get outside and get some exercise.  Obesity is a major social problem.  As another example, materialism can lead to crime.  We know, for example, that there are often increases in thefts when a “hot” new product comes out.  “Air Jordan” basketball shoes were like this at one point.  iPhones are often stolen today.  The need to have the hot new product, a need driven by advertising, helps to cause the social problem of crime. 

In these ways and others, the question of manipulation in advertising can be connected to social problems. 

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