Advertising Essay Sample

Student Sample Essay:
Advertising

by Rahul
(new delhi, India)

Some of the methods used in advertising are unethical and unacceptable in today’s society.


To what extent do you agree with this view?


In today’s time we come across plethora of advertising via various mediums like Outdoor, Print, TV and Online. If done ethically, advertising is beneficial to advertisers as well as consumers. However there is a rising concern about some companies using unethical methods of advertising which is having a harmful effect on the society. In following paragraphs I will delve deeper on the issue.

In today’s time, TV viewers get to see lot of advertisements during breaks in between their favourite TV programs. This deviates their concentration thereby reducing entertainment value of the programs they are watching. Another drawback attributed to advertising is that kids and youngsters fall prey to appealing advertising of fast foods chains like Mac Donald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut etc and they get attracted to unhealthy fast food resulting in various kinds of health problems like obesity, juvenile diabetes etc. Also, few people argue that some companies use obscene materials in their advertisements to attract views which pollutes viewers’ minds especially that of younger ones.

On the contrary, some people are of the opinion that advertising helps in increasing awareness about a company’s product or services. People get to know about company’s new offerings easily through advertising. Without advertising publicity of company’s product and services will not be possible. Thus advertising helps companies in increasing their sales and profits. According to some school of thoughts, advertising creates demand by educating its target customers about new ways of using an existing product or service.

To sum up the discussion, I would like to add that advertising is important for a company to sustain itself in the competitive market but companies should follow certain ethics and a code of conduct in order to eliminate harmful effects of advertising.

World Count: 290

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IELTS buddy feedback

Grammar and Organization

Its generally a well-written and well organized essay, and you should get a good score for that.

Content

The only slight issue I would have with the essay is the content in relation to answering the question.

Make sure your essay directly addresses the question - remember it is asking you about the METHODS.

Your essay reads a bit as if you are just discussing the advantage and disadvantages of advertising.

Unethical methods would be things like advertising cigarettes at sporting events, or subliminal advertising (such as in a film - when the person does not even know they are being influenced),

You do tackle this, but a few points aren't specific enough. For instance in the first paragraph you say that children are influenced by appealing advertisements - you should mention what methods are used to influence them.

So the key point to take away is - always read the question very carefully: underline key words.

If you address the question fully, though, I think you can get a good score.

Thesis Statement / Opinion

This thesis statement looks a bit odd:

"In following paragraphs I will delve deeper on the issue".

Also, you need to make your opinion clearer. The essay question asks if you agree or disagree but it is not clear what your opinion is.

For this essay, I would delete the last sentence of the introduction and then make your opinion on the issue clearer in the conclusion.

For example:

"On balance, although advertising is necessary, it is clear that in some cases the methods used are unethical and are not acceptable".







This is one of my model IELTS essays lessons where you can

  • read the essay
  • do a vocabulary exercise
  • get a full lesson on how to write the essay

Read the IELTS advertising essay

Consumers are faced with increasing numbers of advertisements from competing companies. To what extent do you think are consumers influenced by advertisements? What measures can be taken to protect them?

In today’s material world, we are inundated with various forms of advertising. In my view, this can be dangerous as it encourages us to spend without thinking and young people, in particular, need some protection from it.

The first point to make is that advertising does make us spend money we do not need to. There are nowadays so many different ways companies promote their products and services, ranging from television commercials to simple flyers that we cannot escape it. If, for example, you watch a football match on television, you will see the logos of the tournament sponsors. Likewise, if you watch the latest blockbuster movie, very probably you will see a product placed in the film by some advertising agency. The  volume of this advertising means that we, as consumers, tend to be profoundly influenced by it and buy without thinking.

It is not easy to decide how to regulate advertising. Clearly, governments ought to restrict advertisements for harmful products such as alcohol and tobacco. They do not have the power, however, to control other forms of advertising. This means we need to use our common sense when we go to the shops, and ask ourselves whether we really need to make that purchase. Parents should, however, ensure that young people are protected from too much exposure to advertising. This can mean simply explaining that it is not in fact necessary to buy the newest Xbox, or simply turning the television off.

My conclusion is that while we cannot escape advertising or its effects in the modern world, children should be encouraged not to pay too much attention to it.

Practise writing the essay

Reading the essay question and getting the structure right

Consumers are faced with increasing numbers of advertisements from competing companies. To what extent do you think are consumers influenced by advertisements? What measures can be taken to protect them? 

This is one of those double questions types. It is absolutely essential that you answer both parts of the question. One logical way to do this is use a main body paragraph for each part of the question. So, my essay uses this structure:

Introduction: identify theme of essay and outline your position

Main body 1: answer to what extent advertising does influence us

Main body 2: answer what measures we can take to protect consumers

Conclusion: return to main theme of essay and underline your position

The benefit of this structure is that it is simple (and simple tends to be good in exam circumstances) and coherent in that it follows a logical progression. It makes sense to talk about the influence of advertising before discussing protection measures, and the conclusion reflects the introduction and so tops and tails the essay.

Step 1 – getting ideas to write the essay – ask yourself questions

One problem many candidates have is finding ideas for essays. Very often, the place to get these ideas is in the question itself. The trick is to look at the words in the question and ask yourself some WH questions (who/where/what/why/when etc). That gives you your start, then it often works to try and think of differences. So, for example:

numbers of advertisements: Ask yourself what different types of advertising do you know? TV commercials/bilboards/leaflets and flyers/promotions/logos and slogans/product placement/sponsorship

Are all these the same? Is one type more dangerous than others?

consumers: Ask yourself what different types of consumer are there? high street shoppers/online shoppers/impulse buyers/regular customers/children/adults.

Are all these the same? Do some need more protection than others?

competing companies: Ask yourself what does this mean? It’s about the free market and competition.

Is it possible to regulate the free market?

influenced: Ask yourself how we are influenced by advertising? Is it the same in all cases?

Which is the most dangerous form of advertising?

measures: You can ask yourself what measures need to be taken, but you can also ask yourself who should take those measures.

Can the government regulate advertising? If they cant’t who can? The consumers themselves? Some other body?

Step 2 – 0rganising the ideas – making your paragraphs coherent

Another common problem is that candidates have enough ideas to write an essay, but they don’t organise them well. If you try and include all your ideas, your writing will almost certainly become incoherent – and that’s bad for your band score. Here is how to avoid that problem:

Each paragraph is about one main idea only

Yes, that’s right – just one main idea per para. This means that you need to select what ideas you use – if you try and use all your ideas in a 250 word essay, it is likely to become confused.

The main ideas are simple ideas – normally found in the question

Yes, this is right too. Your big (or main) ideas are simple. They are things like, “I agree with this proposal” or “This opinion is partly right and partly wrong”. So each paragraph begins with a simple sentence like:

The first point to make is that advertising does make us spend money we do not need to.

This means it does influence us. All you have to do now is explain why and how.Or

It is not easy to decide how to regulate advertising.

This means that controlling advertising is complex. All you have to do now is explain why that is so and what can be done.

Others ideas are supporting ideas that explain or give examples

The key here is to see that we just need a couple of explanations of the one big idea. Looking at the “ideas” from step I, I chose these for my first paragraph:

explanation; the most dangerous type of adverts are those that we see all the time and don’t think about

examples: tv commercials/flyers/sponsorship/product placement

So the final paragraph looks like this:

The first point to make is that advertising does make us spend money we do not need to. There are nowadays so many different ways companies promote their products and services, ranging from television commercials to simple flyers that we cannot escape it. If, for example, you watch a football match on television, you will see the logos of the tournament sponsors. Likewise, if you watch the latest blockbuster movie, very probably you will see a product placed in the film by some advertising agency. The volume of this advertising means that we, as consumers, tend to be profoundly influenced by it and buy without thinking.

Step 3 – paragraphs are like essays: it can better to repeat/rephrase an idea than to give a new idea

The next point to note is that one possible paragraph structure is to repeat/rephrase your main idea rather than give a new one. This works best in more complex paragraphs like the one above. The main idea is:

The first point to make is that advertising does make us spend money we do not need to.

I then use a mixture of reasons and examples to explain this idea. At the end of the paragraph, I don’t try and say something different. Rather I come back to the main idea:

The volume of this advertising means that we, as consumers, tend to be profoundly influenced by it and buy without thinking.

This should be a familiar idea to you. It is really just using the introduction – main body – conclusion structure of an essay for a paragraph. You wouldn’t add a new idea in the conclusion of your essay, so why would you in a paragraph?

Read the essay again

You can read the essay and writing notes on the use of pronouns and introductions and conclusions here.

Consumers are faced with increasing numbers of advertisements from competing companies. To what extent do you think are consumers influenced by advertisements? What measures can be taken to protect them?

In today’s material world, we are inundated with various forms of advertising. In my view, this can be dangerous as it encourages us to spend without thinking and young people, in particular, need some protection from it.

The first point to make is that advertising does make us spend money we do not need to. There are nowadays so many different ways companies promote their products and services, ranging from television commercials to simple flyers that we cannot escape it. If, for example, you watch a football match on television, you will see the logos of the tournament sponsors. Likewise, if you watch the latest blockbuster movie, very probably you will see a product placed in the film by some advertising agency. The  volume of this advertising means that we, as consumers, tend to be profoundly influenced by it and buy without thinking.

It is not easy to decide how to regulate advertising. Clearly, governments ought to restrict advertisements for harmful products such as alcohol and tobacco. They do not have the power, however, to control other forms of advertising. This means we need to use our commonsense when we go to the shops, and ask ourselves whether we really need to make that purchase. Parents should, however, ensure that young people are protected from too much exposure to advertising. This can mean simply explaining that it is not in fact necessary to buy the newest Xbox, or simply turning the television off.

My conclusion is that while we cannot escape advertising or its effects in the modern world, children should be encouraged not to pay too much attention to it.

(266 words)

notes

My introduction and conclusion are both quite short: 2 sentences and 1 sentence. There are different ways of writing introductions and conclusions. The benefit of this approach is that it allows me more words for the main body of the essay – perhaps the most important part.

If you are writing an academic essay, it is conventional to try and not use personal pronouns unless you need to. In this essay, I use first person, second person and third person pronouns.

I/MY

If the question asks you for your opinion, you are probably going to need to use first person pronouns in order to answer the question. You should try and use “I”/”my” as little as possible. Here I use them in my introduction and conclusion to show the examiner what my personal point of view is. 

We

I use “we” and “ourselves” to talk more impersonally about people/consumers. This is one academic convention and it is perfectly acceptable in IELTS.

You

Normally, in my essays I avoid using “you”. It is fairly informal and avoided in academic writing. Some/many teachers will tell you that it is wrong to use “you” in academic essays because it is more spoken and not written language. In IELTS, however, you can get away with this provided you use enough more formal/written language elsewhere – this is one way IELTS is not exactly like academic writing. My best advice: try to find another solution if you can.

He/They

In my view, perfectly acceptable. In fact, you are going to need these pronouns if you use examples. It is better to use a pronoun rather than repeat the noun.

 

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