Everywhere one looks, they turn to see some form of advertising. People are, on a daily basis, bombarded by images of products, catchy jingles, and attention-getting slogans. Advertising has infiltrated all various forms of communication. Throughout history advertising mediums have evolved in the print media through newspapers and magazines, to broadcast media involving television, radio and most recently the internet, to outdoor advertising which includes billboard advertising, public transit advertising and sport venues. These mediums impact greatly on modern urban areas and can be simultaneously detrimental as well as beneficial to children, adolescents and adults. Advertisers must be ethical and socially responsible in producing specific advertising campaigns that are targeted at different age groups. Each group have different perceptions of advertisements that make them more vulnerable to the manipulations of the advertisers. The constant images of cigarette and alcohol consumption exposed to children and young adults, give them a false recognition of the products at hand. As well, stereotyped images of women and minority groups are too often represented in advertisements of all mediums. Conversely the use of tactics such as selection, repetition and appearance is beneficial to the advertisements being viewed. This essay will discuss the various forms of advertising as mentioned above and discuss the impact it has on the different age groups. .
There are many definitions to describe or explain advertising. One definition that is relevant is explained by Lee and Johnson stating, "advertising is a paid, nonpersonal communication about an organization and its products that is transmitted to a targeted audience through a mass medium such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, direct mail, outdoor displays, or mass transit vehicles" (3). They also include the internet as a new form of advertising (3).