10 Disadvantages of Advertising
Is advertising a good or bad thing? Below are some common criticisms.
One strong objection to advertising is that it is a very costly function. A recent study found that the cost of ads exceeded that of sales by six percent. In theory, the high cost of advertising is covered by increased sales of the advertised product. But this usually is not the case.
Advertising is an indirect cost which is added into distribution expenses. When expenses increase, the selling price of products does too. With large advertisers spending thousands of rupees a week solely on ads, advertising costs make up a significant part of the price of an advertised product. Thus, consumers have to pay higher prices for advertised products.
Advertising is an economic waste because unbalanced advertising causes certain goods to cost more than they should.
2. Misleading Claims
Some advertisers cleverly create misleading impressions of their goods. They present a very rosy picture of their products with the object of increasing their sales.
3. Encouragement of Monopoly
Advertisement restricts competition among products. Big industrialists and manufacturers can use advertising to increase their monopolistic control over the market, control that is always used against the public interest. Advertising increases awareness about a few products, causing all other options to be overlooked.
4. High Prices
It is undoubtedly true that effective advertising increases sales volume. These increased sales require more products. Large-scale production brings down the cost of goods per unit, which in turn reduces the selling price. But if the producers do not lower the prices, the burden of advertising falls on the shoulders of the consumer.
5. Small Businesses Have Restricted Access
Small businesses cannot properly advertise their products due to limited resources and because the entire market for many goods and services is dictated by the whims of large advertisers. This makes it virtually impossible for small businesses to compete, so they eventually disappear form the market.
6. Misdirection of Purchasing Power
Advertising high-priced luxury goods influences the purchasing power of consumers. This results in some people using unscrupulous means to increase their income for the purpose of getting things they perceive as necessities of life. Thus, unnecessary advertising creates societal corruption.
7. Dangerous Distractions
Billboards, posters, and electronic moving pictures are placed around important intersections, which distract drivers and pedestrians. Glaring neon lights and signs are hazards with potentially deadly consequences.
8. Unfulfilled Desires
Another disadvantage of advertising is that it influences the mind of public, creating the desire and taste for new products that are not actually necessities of life and that most cannot afford. Thus, advertising fosters unrequited desire, which in turn causes unhappiness.
9. Promotion of Social Evils
Some businesses support immoral and sensational programs as well as crime stories on television and radio, choosing them as vehicles for advertising. These programs corrupt the values of young people, promoting social evils.
10. Confusion About Characteristics of Products
Many similar products are advertised on the market. But producers put great emphasis on minor differences in the formula, technique, or make of advertised goods. For example, there are many brands of shaving creams which perform the same function, but are advertised as dramatically different products. Due to misinformation disseminated by advertising, it has become impossible for the average buyer to judge with any certainty the quality of product they are buying.