Advertising And The Media Essay Research Paper

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Advertising And The Media Essay, Research Paper “Ring around the collar,” “Once you pop, you can’t stop,” “Just do it.” Television viewers today are bombarded with increasing commercial content. From the barrage of 15-second commercials every seven minutes, to product placement, to infomercials, when the viewer watches television, they are constantly exposed to some form of advertising. Beyond the minor annoyance, very few people think that much is wrong with advertisements. What viewers do not realize is how much advertising influences the content of television, often in a negative manner. In his article Conscientious Objections Neil Postman states “The anarchy in television news is a direct result of the commercial structure of broadcasting.” When the

Government granted television stations the right to broadcast over American airwaves, there was an agreement that stations would serve the public interest. Slowly but surely, things have changed. Television no longer serves the public, what goes on the air is now determined largely by advertisers. Many of the changes in television occurred because of the government deregulation of television in the 1980s, when the head of the Federal Communications Commission under Reagan rolled back the principle components of broadcast regulation. Two major components of the deregulation where the elimination of the “three-year rule,” which stated that broadcast entities could not be sold for three years after the date of purchase; as well as allowing more commercials in a broadcast hour.

The deregulation changed the television industry forever. The three-year rule had ensured that a station remained viable and intact. The deregulation changed the status of many television stations. In the article Consumer Culture and TV Programming, Robin Andersen writes: “Before deregulation, corporate speculators did not purchase stations solely for the purpose of commodity trading. After deregulation, however, speculators who had no interest or experience in the media bought and sold stations simply to make a profit. Corporate investors would often cut corners to make a profit, this included cutting news departments, and giving in to many advertiser demands.” (Andersen, 19) The other major step taken during the deregulation of the 1980s overwhelmed viewers with

advertising, and diminished advertising s effectiveness. Before the deregulation, advertising had a firm grip on viewer attention. Viewers watched advertisements with vigor, and research revealed that they remembered a great deal of what they saw. Along with more commercials per hour, the standard 30-second commercial gave way to more short 10- and 15-second spots. After the deregulation the number of commercials on network TV in an average week tripled to more than 5,000. (Andersen, 20) Just as viewers were being bombarded with commercials in the 1980s, remote-control technology showed viewers an escape route. With the help of the remote control, viewing habits changed. Audiences began to change the channel, mute, or fast-forward their recordings during television

advertisements. Advertisements lost a great deal of the persuasive power when viewers began to disregard them. Since then, marketers have searched for ways to bring back advertising s persuasive power. One result of this search has been increased demands that programming content supports and reinforces advertising messages. Another consequence has been the advent of subtle advertisements that disguise their promotional character such that viewers will be more accepting of the persuasive messages. A good example of one such practice would be product placement, in which brand names are strategically placed into the television program. As advertisers became more demanding of television support of advertising, television became dependent on advertisers financial support. Andersen