Thursday, December 14, 2006

Advertising is paid communication through a non-personal medium in which the sponsor is identified and the message is controlled. Variations include publicity, public relations, product placement, sponsorship, underwriting, and sales promotion. Every medium is used to deliver these messages: television, radio, movies, magazines, newspapers, the internet, and billboards.
Advertising plays a critical role in capitalist economies in creating demand for industrial output. Thus, advertising clients are predominantly profit-seeking corporations. In 1997, in the U.S. alone, over $175 billion USD was spent on advertising. Non-profits are not typical advertising clients, and rely upon free channels, such as public service announcements.
While advertising can be seen as necessary for economic growth, it is not without social costs. Unsolicited Commercial Email and other forms of spam have become so prevalent as to have become a major nuisance of users of these services, as well as being a financial burden on internet service providers. Advertising is incresingly invading public spaces, such as schools, which some critics argue is a form of child exploitation.One scholar has argued that advertising is a toxic by-product of industrial society which may bring about the end of life on earth.
Public service advertising
The same advertising techniques used to promote commercial goods and services can be used to inform, educate and motivate the public about non-commercial issues, such as AIDS, political ideology, energy conservation, religious recruitment, and deforestation.dvertising, in its non-commercial guise, is a powerful educational tool capable of reaching and motivating large audiences. "Advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interest - it is much too powerful a tool to use solely for commercial purposes." - Attributed to Howard Gossage by David Ogilvy
Public service advertising, non-commercial advertising, public interest advertising, cause marketing, and social marketing are different terms for (or aspects of) the use of sophisticated advertising and marketing communications techniques (generally associated with commercial enterprise) on behalf of non-commercial, public interest issues and initiatives.
In the United States, the granting of television and radio licenses by the FCC is contingent upon the station broadcasting a certain amount of public service advertising. To meet these requirements, many broadcast stations in America air the bulk of their required Public Service Announcements during the late night or early morning when the smallest percentage of viewers are watching, leaving more day and prime time commercial slots available for high-paying advertisers.
Public service advertising reached its height during World Wars I and II under the direction of several governments. Famous comments on advertising include: "Don't tell my mother I work in an advertising agency - she thinks I play piano in a whorehouse."