Advertising is considered the best and most creative way to persuade the general public into thinking they want or need a certain product. This process is carried out through images that a consumer feels are real and which affects them emotionally. This type of influential control in the hands of an advertiser must envisage moral and ethical responsibilities to portray their images with the right amount of accuracy. This issue is prevalent in not only the realm of advertisements reaching consumers but also to images reaching people as citizens of a democratic society. Images are manipulated to stimulate a certain way of thinking in much of the political world as well. Political propaganda has the same goal as advertising: persuasive control. Images can be altered to promote a certain viewpoint or to gain support for a certain cause.
When people are educated and can develop the capacity for analyzing advertisements and images, they can deliberately not accept an image as the decisive certainty and communal rule. The choice to be more decisive and the conscientiousness to stop the amount of control images have on the society’s values is in the hands of the consumers or citizens themselves. This obviously means that the strong power that images have had on an individual is a shared responsibility between the moral decisions of the advertiser or creator of the image as well as the necessary critical thought process of the individual.
Depending upon a person’s point of view or amount of knowledge, the term consumerism might take on several different expressions. One thing is sure and that is people generally enjoy consuming and doing it with the utmost convenience possible. Naturally advertising in the business world is specifically dedicated to understanding exactly what products or services are of interest to customers. However, a consumer eventually need to be the decision makers on how they react to advertisements or political propaganda and the actions they take as a reaction When an image is put in front of a person, it does not take deprive the individual of the natural capability and autonomy humans have in decision making.
In the age of information, people have other means besides television and radio for acquiring knowhow. In a society where public service announcements are becoming more and more common and more frequently heard, communities are taking measure for educating people about important, prevalent topics. Organizations and activist groups who aim to educate consumers need to step in and create ads that will motivate awareness in the consumer in the same manner as “Partnership for a drug-free America” among other things. When consumers are more aware of how to be a “smart audience”, they will be less vulnerable to be influenced by ambiguous ads. This will help the advertisers learn to be more honest in the way they present images. If consumers are learning to be more critical, the advertiser will inevitably react and become more aware of being honest in the images they create.