We should do something about pollution, but not only the pollution of the air and water. Advertising is also form of pollution, visual pollution. Advertising makes cities both ugly and colourful, but imagine a clean and serene city, where no outdoor advertising is allowed. This sounds like a utopia, but it would be possible now. Furthermore the biggest city in South America has already tried it. After the mayor had enough of the visual pollution all the billboards and other forms of outdoor advertising were removed almost overnight. Visualize how pure every city would look without all the advertisements disturbing their skyline.
But instead advertisements are everywhere you look, free bags with brand names on them, exclusive clothes which turn you into a walking advertisement and TV commercials every 15 minutes. But there is a difference, you choose to walk with these bags or watch TV when commercials are on. However when driving through a city you cannot choose not to look at advertisements, they are everywhere. So outdoor advertisements should be banned in all cities, this would make the city look fresh and has many other advantages. Furthermore advertisements nowadays conjure impressions far from the truth. Through this advertisers can exploit people.
Their advertisements try to tempt people to buy the goods that is either harmful like alcohol or tobacco or products they cannot afford. People buy these goods only because the image of the product created by the advertisement is tempting them to buy it. Those advertisements encourage people to become more materialistic through watching advertisements which appeal to their emotions. That is exactly what we do not want, advertisements that only appeal to people’s emotion instead of informing the people about the product. So it would also improve our society if only informative advertisements would be used.
The only effect advertising has is making people feel unhappy, through making them covet everything redundant through images of models skinnier than any American in the Mac Donald’s, flash new cars and cheap food. They make us dissatisfied and want every new next version and limited edition. Nowadays advertisements are designed to make us feel insecure, while they should inform us about how good the product is. If advertisements would only be informative people would be able to distinguish what they want and need instead of wanting to be like advertisements describe.
By banning outdoor advertising big companies would not be able to dominate the advertising market. So smaller companies would stand equal chances and will have to stand out with aspects like quality and service to get their name out. These measures stimulate companies to invest money to improve their products. Spending money on advertisements can also have negative effects on companies, when their advertising is unsuccessful and does not lead to higher revenue of sales, it will not cover the advertising cost. That can lead to higher prices. So it could not be disadvantageous if the amount of advertisements outside would minimize.
Some people claim it would be bad for the economy or that everybody who is working in the advertising market will lose their job. But in the city of Sao Paulo it proved to work out different. Companies invested money to find new and creative ways of advertising inside and the citizens turned out to spend as much money as before on new products. And seventy percent of the citizens claim to find the ban beneficial. The longer the wait the worse it will get, with new technologies it will only become easier for advertisers to make us buy their products.
From following our browsing as they do now, they will one time be able to determine what we want and what cannot resist. Unless we act now and stop their pollution. Although it is not really fair to fully blame the advertisers, especially not only blaming the big companies. They are not the only ones to blame. The people who are being negligent and are not able to rationally judge whether they need something should be responsible for their own negligence. Nevertheless if an advertisement is created with the sole purpose to delude the short-sighted it should be banned and the companies responsible must get serious fines.
That is why the law of Sao Paulo banning outdoor advertising should be implemented in all cities and the remaining advertisements should only be informative consequently people will not buy goods that are harmful or too expensive for them. This way people will feel less insecure which emanates in people buying only the goods they need and thus they will be less materialistic. The smaller companies will have equal chances against the bigger companies and prices will stay low. And indubitably there is nothing unfavourable about it. The cities would only look better.