What’s the harm of advertising?

There has been a long-standing debate on the advantages and disadvantages of advertising, and there is no final conclusion. I will sort out several key issues and arguments for reference here.




As for the final conclusion, everyone has different opinions. The price of goods and services has been debated for a long time about whether advertising increases or decreases the price of products and services in general. Things are not as simple as we think upstairs. For those who think of the increase, the logic is usually very simple – advertising costs, which are included in the price as costs, so the final burden borne by consumers is undoubtedly to increase the burden of consumers. However, this argument ignores the information attribute of advertisement, that is, as a means of communication, it plays an important role in ensuring free competition in the market, while full competition plays an undoubted role in reducing product prices and improving product quality. In the debate on the tobacco advertising ban in the United States, both sides agree that the advertising ban will lead to the big and the big in the tobacco industry, and the small brands will lose the competition opportunities and ultimately damage the interests of consumers. In other words, at least part of the advertising cost paid by consumers is the necessary expenditure for them to obtain commodity information to make correct decisions and stimulate market progress. With the emergence of the Internet, the channels for consumers to obtain information are increasing, so the importance of advertising in mass media in providing information is declining, but the information itself is still valuable. What’s interesting is that the ultimate revenue supporting these information channels – such as Google and various forums – is still advertising revenue. However, in addition to the delivery of commodity information, advertising also plays a role in shaping the image of businesses and products, which in many people’s eyes is meaningless and unwilling to bear the cost.