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Advertising Impact

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Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” – John Wanamaker, father of modern advertising.

Smithwick's ale billboard NYC Billboard, New York City, (2005)

The impact of advertising has been a matter of considerable debate and many different claims have been made in different contexts. During debates about the banning of cigarette adervertising, a common claim from cigarette manufacturers was that cigarette advertising does not encourage people to smoke who would not otherwise.[1] The (eventually successful) opponents of advertising, on the other hand, claim that advertising does in fact increase consumption.[2]

According to many media sources, the past experience and state of mind of the person subjected to advertising may determine the impact that advertising has. Children under the age of four may be unable to distinguish advertising from other television programs, whilst the ability to determine the truthfullness of the message may not be developed until the age of eight.[3]


  1. Memorandum by British American Tobacco from The Tobacco Industry and the Health Risks of Smoking (TB 28) paragraph 272, “Cigarette advertising does not cause people to smoke”, presented before the House of Commons Select Committee on Health 13 January 2000, verifed 2005-12-31
  2. Frequently asked Questions: Tobacco Advertising, “persuades non-smokers (especially the young) to start smoking” from ASH
  3. Lawrence, Felicity (2004). “The Ready Meal”, Kate Barker Not on the Label, 265, Penguin. ISBN 0-141-01566-7.
  • Bhatia, Tej K. 2000. Advertising in Rural India: Language, Marketing Communication, and Consumerism. Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa. Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Tokyo Press: Japan. ISBN 4-87297-782-3

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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