Are Advertisements A Big Threat To News?

The 8-page relatively serious Sunday Magazine of ‘The Hindu’ invariably goes without any advertisements in it while ‘The Cinema Plus’ pull out on the same day has almost three pages of advertising. This reflects the great minds of advertisers who think that less cerebral has more readers. Do they aim to target those whom they consider relatively ‘dumb’ (define as you may) and whose opinion can easily be moulded? Well then in that case, almost everyone who has bought something or the other after watching an ad must be dumb according to the advertising genius.

There have been numerous debates on whether advertising is a necessary evil or not. Being a debate, it definitely attracts two sides of the argument but it actually is a beautiful mind game. The advertisers play with the mind of consumers and create a space for the product in their head. But today mere advertising is not enough. The correct pitching of the advertisement is as important as the content. As it is said about the success of a book, that it has to be at the right place at the right time, so is the case with advertisements. But here it is about being at the right time at the right place with the right content. Since advertisements are foggy in nature, advertisers think they can act as blinking lights which helps a wanderer find his path. This path leads to their products which the person inevitably ends up buying because they’ve been led to it.

But, what about those who can’t be mislead or have a clear picture of what they want. Do the advertisements fail to catch their attention because they are already so clear in their head? Well, there is certain lacuna in all and the great advertising minds focus on it to enlarge it so as to increase their sales. All they present is a white lie which we fall prey to. Therefore there is no use to categorise as to who can be influenced. The time period may differ but sooner or later we are ought to buy something because we saw it somewhere.

Advertisements have become indispensible to our lives. No matter how much they are criticized they do make us informed and information is a very powerful tool. Maybe this is why ‘The Times of India’s’ news columns are no longer of the standard size giving way for advertisements. Editorials have been replaced by Advertorials. But are advertisements being a threat to news? This definitely needs some pondering.

By Salma Ahmed

(courtesy: Youth Ki Awaaz)

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