Currently, a majority of business organizations are moving towards globalization through their ventures in the international market. However, in the international market, strong competition can easily wipe an entire organization out of the market if crucial steps are not implemented. One of the ways through which a business organization can edge out competition is through a strategic marketing campaign for its products.
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Advertisement is one of the ways through which organizations market their product, and a method that has been an area of concern due to controversies surrounding some advertisements. Advertisements geared towards the promotion of some products have been an area of concern by some researchers who focus on morality behind the advertisements. In addition, such advertisements lead to the promotion of some sort of behavior, which leads to negative impacts cutting across all sectors in society.
The controversy surrounding such advertisements has led to different publications on the issue coupled with how it should be dealt with to the interest of the public and the business organization itself. This paper aims at exploring the problem associated with tobacco and cigarette advertisements to the health of the consumers. Cigarette ads should be banned in the interest of health, morality, and annoyance.
Currently, the entire world population lives in a world where markets are economy driven with most people consuming more than they can produce. The high demand for various products calls for companies and other business institutions to venture into advertisement in order to create awareness of their existing products (Hackley 162).
In the modern world, various advertisements flow constantly from billboards, televisions, to print media and the Internet among other forms of media. However, most of these advertisements are crafted in such a creative way in order to win customer’s attention and attract consumers to purchasing those products (Yeshin 135).
From researches curried out, researchers revealed that most of the American based business organizations spend billions of money annually on advertisements, a cost that is passed to consumers. In addition, taxes in relation to the advertisement are passed to the consumer, who also has to pay via the profit margin incorporated in the overall price of the product.
Various advertisements have had influences on different categories of consumers, with young children and teenagers falling victims. Messages relayed through the media are designed in a way through which the recipient is easily pleased (Yeshin 136). Through this aspect, messages relayed are likely to influence the health practices and behaviors of the recipient including his or her values, beliefs, and perceptions towards different issues.
For instance, print and television advertisements on selling tobacco products tend to be very persuasive (Hackley 162). In addition, messages relayed are crafted in a way that the truth always remains hidden, especially those dealing with harmful products. However, apart from the crafted messages, the majority of such advertisements never convey a substantial message that depicts the harmful effects of utilizing the product.
However, advertisements have many ills behind them that include hidden costs, false trends, claims by advertising companies and business organizations, and untrue information relayed to customers. On a customer’s health, advertisements tend to attract a consumer towards purchasing and consuming products that are unsafe for human consumption. Exposure to unhealthy practices such as cigarette smoking among others can be attributed to the media description of these products as good for human consumption (Gostin 120).
Tobacco and cigarette advertising in relation to consumption
According to reports by various health organizations and researchers, cigarette advertising is a public health issue since these activities lead to an increment in the rate of smoking. On the other hand, producers of this product who have been selling it in the market have been compounded with the zeal to make money out of deception and without regard for the product’s negative effects on consumers.
Through advertisements, various tobacco brands in the market can gain a significant share of the market against the competing brands. Prior studies on advertisements in relation to tobacco and cigarettes will be examined in this paper.
The tobacco and cigarette industry has tight competition; therefore, different firms focus on advertising as a way to edge out this form of competition. In this industry, different firms tend to compete on price, and thus concentrate on advertising and other marketing strategies to increase sales volume of their products (Tremblay 120).
Cigarette and tobacco advertisements relay “significant information about the product’s physical characteristics, which are limited due to the available information; they are designed in a way to create sophistication, fantasies, pleasure, independence, and social success” (Shimp 116). Through these attributes, the product’s personality is created, hence appealing to specific consumers.
The consumption of cigarettes and tobacco gives the user an illusion that s/he is achieving the kind of lifestyle portrayed in the advertisements. The designers of such adverts create an inducement to smoking by non-smokers courtesy of the appealing messages conveyed by cigarette and tobacco advertisements. Branding is one of the aspects and when well utilized, it can help in the success of the advertisement through increment in the sales volume (O’Guinn et al. 225).
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Advertising companies utilize the concept of brand proliferation in order to gain a large share of the market through widening the target base. Through this concept, a company dealing with tobacco products is advised to come up with several brands that when advertised, will capture a larger market share as opposed to only a single brand. Different individuals have different tastes and preferences; hence, each brand will be designed to provide utility to individuals in different segments in the market.
However, the introduction of a new brand in the market may draw consumers from existing brands; on the other hand, the same move is likely to attract new consumers into the market. There has been a major concern for the increment in the rate at which tobacco products are being consumed in the United States. Researchers found out that the trend hinged on the introduction of new brands into the market accompanied by intensive advertising campaigns.
Economic issues in relation to tobacco and cigarette advertisements
The diminishing marginal product concept has been largely utilized in conducting researches to illustrate the effect of advertisement on cigarette and tobacco consumption.
From the concept, the responses to the advertisements flatten at some point, where consumption ceases to respond to the additional advertising (Shuibhne and Gormley 230). Whereas brand advertisements are aimed at increasing the level of sales, the increment in the rate of consumption comes from new consumers and increment from the existing ones who shift from one brand to another.
Currently, most countries and states have come up with policies to initiate a ban on cigarette and tobacco advertisements. Shimp notes, in the concept of a perfect market, “an advertising ban is not geared towards a reduction of the total level of advertising, but on reducing the effectiveness of expenditures in the remaining operational media” (133). When one media is banned from carrying out certain advertisements, media substitution occurs where companies shift to other available media.
Ethical considerations in relation to tobacco and cigarettes advertisements
Researchers in favor of advertisements depict that advertising is one of the way through which information regarding some products is passed to consumers. According to classical economists, optimization of efficiency occurs when all parties involved in a transaction have the full information to help them when making rational decisions (Shuibhne and Gormley 235).
However, with tobacco advertisements, one stands to inquire whether such information is made available to consumers to aid them in making rational decisions and choices. Researchers hold that some form of information conveyed in advertisement helps in rational decision making, which underscores its morality (Howells 173). However, to some extent, persuasive advertising may be unethical especially when it revolves around convincing consumers to buying unnecessary goods (Kaiser 146).
There prevails some level of unethical practices when it comes to tobacco advertisements. For instance, all costs in relation to advertisements and the profit margin are included in the final price o f the cigarette without the consumer’s knowledge. In addition, advertisers tend to pass the wrong information to consumers without disclosing the potential harms behind consumption of tobacco, thus it becomes misleading.
All advertising media have limits on time and space, hence non-disclosure of all contents of the advertisement on the aspects of a product (Kaiser 148). Other than this limitation, advertisers tend to be selective on the information to pass to consumers, and thus they select the desirable characteristics of the product.
The majority of tobacco advertisement, if not all, constitutes lies and such is an unethical practice since advertisers know the propositions portrayed as not being true. In addition, these advertisements forge information that counter what is already written on the dangers of smoking (Howells 176). These advertisements also forge a positive image about cigarettes, tobacco, smoking, and smokers, hence appealing to non-smokers.
The deliberate omission of some aspects of tobacco products creates a form of deception to consumers, hence misleading them. Researchers hold that risks associated to tobacco smoking are quite high for advertisers should be in a position to provide a comprehensive coverage of health warnings to consumers. However, the opposite has been happening, where for quite a long time now, most tobacco advertisements are geared towards undermining the health warnings.
Impacts of using tobacco products to the health of a consumer
Annually, a significant number of people die out of complications arising from tobacco smoking. Regrettably, a considerate number of the victims are young men and women, who fall victims of tobacco and cigarette advertisements (Edlin, Golanty, and Brown 157). Children too are attracted to smoking due to influence by cigarette advertisements, which are related to events like sports.
Tobacco contains a dangerous chemical, nicotine, which causes quite a number of cancers to the smoker. In addition, a “mixture of carbon monoxide and nicotine increases the blood pressure and heart rate, and can easily lead to heart attacks and stroke” (Kozlowski et al. 150).
Due to the cancer-related cases associated with smoking, some smokers end up having some of their body parts being amputated. Among pregnant women, cigarette smoking leads to low birth weight, premature births, unexpected miscarriages, and prenatal mortality. Carbon monoxide produced by cigarettes when smoked causes inefficient supply of air into the muscles, brain, and other vital body organs, thus causing a failure in functionality of the affected organs.
A comprehensive policy aimed at discouraging massive advertising of tobacco and its products can help decrease the rate at which these products are consumed. Studies carried out by various researchers outlined that a ban on advertisements concerning cigarettes could reduce consumption of tobacco by approximately 7%, a factor that would be of unparalleled help in dealing with the challenge (Edlin, Golanty, and Brown 160).
However, partial bans and voluntary agreements have little or no effect on consumption of cigarettes and tobacco products since advertisers shift to other media where the ban has not been implemented. For instance, this change of advertisement media happened in Thailand back in 1992 when the British American Tobacco switched to other forms of promoting tobacco after the government initiated a ban on advertisements related to tobacco and cigarettes (Tremblay 126).
In a bid to deal with the problem of tobacco and cigarette products, countries should formulate and adopt a comprehensive ban on all forms of cigarette and tobacco advertisements, promotions, and sponsorships (World Health Organization 26). In addition, this move should include a regulation on all forms of media and other advertising platforms, which advertisers may shift to after a ban on one medium.
Countries can also come up with a policy that incorporates a ban on display of tobacco products and packages in commercial areas, and the move should be announced in advance to ensure that the concerned companies adhere to the set regulations. However, this move cannot be successful without imposing a ban even with the country where tobacco is produced. Finally, each country should come up with stringent measures to ensure severe punishments befall the companies that violate the ban.
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