The Disadvantages of Advertising

Is advertising a good thing or a bad thing? Here are some common criticisms of advertising.

  • Cost

One strong objection to advertising is that it is a costly function. The high cost of advertising is covered by increasing the selling price of the advertised goods. Advertisement is an indirect cost which is added into distribution expenses. When expenses increase, the selling price of the products will also increase. Advertising is a significant part of cost; large advertisers spend thousand of Rupees a week for advertising. One study found that advertising cost exceeded 6% of sales. Advertising means that consumers will have to pay higher prices for advertised products. But if the goods are not advertised, the cost of advertising cannot become a burden on the consumer. Because unbalanced advertising causes certain goods to cost the consumers more than they should, it is an economic waste.

  • Misleading claims

Some advertisers cleverly create misleading impressions of their goods. They present a very rosy picture of their products to consumers with the object of increasing their sales.

  • Encouragement of monopoly

Advertisement restricts competition among the products. Big industrialists and manufacturers can use advertising to increase their monopolistic control over the market, control that is always against the public interest.

  • High prices

It is undoubtedly true that effective advertising increase the sales volume. This increased sale will require more products. Thus the large scale production brings down the cost of goods per unit due to economies in various sectors which reduces the consumes selling prices. But the producers do not lower the prices and the burden of advertising remains on the shoulders of consumers.

  • Restricted access by small business

Small firms cannot properly advertise their products due to limited resources. On the other hand, the entire market for many goods and services is almost dictated by large advertisers. It becomes impossible for small firms to continue their business in fields like this, so small firms disappear form the market.

  • Misdirection of purchasing power

The advertising of high-priced luxury goods influences the purchasing power of consumers. So some people use unscrupulous means to increase their income for the purpose of getting things they perceive as necessities of life. Thus unnecessary advertising creates corruption in the society.

  • Distractions caused by advertising

Hoardings (billboards), posters and electronic moving pictures are placed around important intersections, distracting drivers. Glaring red neon lights have actually been hazards at certain crossroads.

  • Unfulfilled desire

Another objection is that advertising influences the mind of public, creating the desire and taste for new products that are not actually necessities of life and that the income of consumers will not let them enjoy. Advertising may thus be regarded as the cause of unrequited desire which may result in unhappiness.

  • Promotion of social evils

Some firms support immoral and sensational programs and crime stories in television and radio, by choosing them as vehicles for their advertising. These programs corrupt the values of young people, promoting social evils.

  • Confusion about characteristics of products

Numerous similar types of products are advertised in the market. But producers lay great emphasis on minor differences in the formula or technique of advertised goods. For example. there are many brands of advertised shaving creams which perform the same function. Due to all the misinformation and irrelevant information disseminated by advertising, it has become impossible for the average buyer to judge with any certainly the quality of the hundreds of articles he buys.

Miscellaneous Objections to Advertising

(a) Advertising introduces Inferior quality goods into the market to deceive consumers.

(b) A new firm having limited resources cannot compete with already established big firms who have the help of massive advertising.

(c) A large firm can divert demand from one product to another with the help of advertising.

(d) Consumer choice is greatly injured by misleading claims made in advertising

(e) As advertising is a comparatively new art, some advertising is ineffective and thus less efficient than it could be.

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Comments 120 comments

lxxy profile image

lxxy 6 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

It's interesting you mention monopolistic practices as a disadvantage of advertising. Sadly, with the web today--and even now iPhone and Android, research has given way to new forms of it.

I think advertising can be a fine art, maybe not so much like an Apple ad, but perhaps as an alternate reality game. It's been done before, (like with the ad campaign of NIN's album Year Zero. It was awesome) and creates such a much more effective interaction between the demographic and the producer of wares.

Rizwan Amjed profile image

Rizwan Amjed 6 years ago Author

Thanks for sharing what you know, i always try to express things i know and i can share with others, because knowledge is to be delivered as its right of knowledge

lxxy profile image

lxxy 6 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

I agree...information wants to be free. =)

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Rizwan Amjed 6 years ago Author

Thanks ('.' )

vishu 6 years ago

this info rocks dude thanks a lot

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Rizwan Amjed 6 years ago Author

Thanks Vishu

sanjeev kumar kansal 6 years ago

good job !!! kwality has no certificate.

divya 6 years ago

Me too i agree.

Billy 6 years ago

examples of advertising results in creating social evils

ato 6 years ago

ilove this

tunir 6 years ago

It is very useful in

ARUN 6 years ago


roselie cullen 6 years ago

good help

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Rizwan Amjed 6 years ago Author

I'm always thankful to all the readers...

ayesha mughal 6 years ago

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MIM 5 years ago


M.Abid Anis 5 years ago


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Rizwan Amjed 5 years ago Author

Thank you All

aashita 5 years ago


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nitin 5 years ago

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Tanisha 5 years ago

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Thanks for the information ! It helped me in my project :P

varun 5 years ago


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Rizwan Amjed 5 years ago Author

As well as i remember i have hub on that topic too

shalin 5 years ago

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Rizwan Amjed 5 years ago Author

Thank u All for appreciation. It really sounds great when you know people likes what you do..

An Lilyn its my pleasure...

Asad iqbal 5 years ago

you r absolutely right.advertisement do more harm than good.adding to yours it is one of the way to hack our culture(islamic culture) by posting seminude pics everywhere and creating demand for such goods. for example has one of its ingredient "pepsin" which weakens the bones,specifically designed to weaken muslims.

keep it up brother!!!!!!!!!

sona 5 years ago

thanks a lot

this information helped me to get some basic points on the topic disadvantages of advertising for our class debate

but still i am not happy coz i didn't get the exact points

omar 5 years ago

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Murungi luke 5 years ago

the iformation about advertising is good to the small extent and bad the large extent b'se although it was not there still p'ple w'd have desires and demand for products

riya kamal 5 years ago

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Rizwan Amjed 4 years ago Author

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Nan'C 4 years ago

I liked about "small firms would disappear" which is a real fact to be concerned. But there are also unnecessary points.

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swathi 24 months ago

Advertisement can damages the humans life. And donot think buy the product what ever you see.

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bevington 5 months ago

Thanks this is fruitful information now i have a better understanding on the demerits of advertising

nikita sen 3 months ago


diana kinz 3 months ago

Yes advertising has both advantages and disadvantages. Try moLotus audio-visual messaging platform to engage and retain your customers at a cost-effective price. It is more than just a message but a rich multimedia greeting that gets directly delivered to phone inbox.

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