“When it comes to society however, and the big picture effects of advertising in general, it’s not pretty. The report’s conclusion is that advertising promotes values that are directly opposed to human wellbeing, environmental sustainability and a fair society. It ought to be considered a detrimental influence, and regulated accordingly. While advertising campaigns reflect society to a certain degree, they also have the effect of ‘normalising’ values or behaviours and tend to promote ‘extrinsic’ values rather than ‘intrinsic’ values. Extrinsic values rely on external factors for validation – admiration or desire, for example. Intrinsic values are rewarding in themselves without need for outside approval. Think about how you feel when you finish something you worked hard on. That’s an intrinsic value.
Advertising might not even promote choice after all. By manipulating its audience, it may in fact stifle choice. Much advertising is subliminal, creating positive associations without prompting conscious thought. If we sat down and decided to think about why we prefer Coke or Pepsi, odds are that it wouldn’t take long to decide that conclude we don’t care because it doesn’t matter. An active choice, in this instance, is bad for the brand.”