Ever since mass media became mass media, companies have naturally used this means of communications to let a large number of people know about their products. There is nothing wrong with that, as it allows innovative ideas and concepts to be shared with others. However, as the years have progressed, the sophistication of advertising methods and techniques has advanced, enticing and shaping and even creating consumerism and needs where there has been none before, or turning luxuries into necessities. This section introduces some of the issues and concerns this raises.
- Free media channels have a cost
- The Audience as the Product
- The Audience also as the Consumer
- Manipulating images of people in commercials
- Advertorials — Advertisements disguised as News!
- Advertisement — Advertisements disguised as Entertainment!
- Product Placement
- Political influence
- Military in Movies — Less Shock, More Awe
- Globalization of consumers
Free media channels have a cost
Various free media such as the numerous channels available in America and other nations are naturally subsidized with advertising to help pay the costs.
As corporate competition has increased, so too has the need for returns on massive expenditures on advertising. Industries spend millions, even billions of dollars to win our hearts and minds, and to influence our choices towards their products and ideas. This often means such media outlets attract greater funds than those outlets funded through public funding or TV licenses. It can mean that such outlets can also then afford better programming of key events and programs.
Given the dependency media companies can have on advertising, advertisers can often have exert undue influences (knowingly or tacitly); if something is reported that the advertiser doesn’t like or the media company has funded a documentary that exposes bad practice by an advertiser, the media company can risk losing much needed revenue to stay alive.
As a result, the mainstream media is largely driven by the forces of the market.