If you must persuade your audience to take some action, aren't you being manipulative and unethical?

If you must persuade your audience to take some action, aren't you being manipulative and unethical?

Advertising is a mighty weapon in the world trade market. It is hard to imagine a successful promoting company without advertising. Every day millions of people create and see advertisements. In our age of globalisation people try to find common points at any subjects to make the transmission of information easier. On the one hand advertisement can give us useful information, but on the other hand it is possible to manipulate persuading a group of people to take some action or to buy some thing. How could people draw a distinction between these two effects?
If the advertisers resort to various tricks to persuade the audience and so try to influence not people’s consciousness but their subconsciousness, then such behaviour is manipulative and unethical. People cannot control their subconsciousness and so are easily persuaded to take some action. Knowing methods of influence on this part of mind, advertisers can have power upon their customers. For example, we have a great number of persuasive messages, where alcohol or tobacco is advertised. The accent is usually made on the fact that all real men drink beer, or people of high social rang smoke cigarettes. In advertisements of tobacco, we can see beautiful women who smoke cigars, this picture retains in our subconscious mind and then cigars for us are associated with beauty, prosperous way of life and wealth. Using this trick advertisers manipulate our mind.
Nevertheless, advertisement can be aimed not at our subconsciousness, but at our consciousness, in such a way it has just informative character and it depends on person’s mind whether to perceive all the information or to choose necessary facts in the endless stream of information. In this way we also deal with persuasion but in its classical interpretation: “Persuasion occurs through the deliberate use of communication to change a person’s attitude” (Fazio, 1990). To persuade the person using logic evidence and arguments does not mean to be manipulative and unethical. This kind of persuasion must be applied in our advertisement, and then there will be no ethical and psychological arguments in this sphere.


References
1. Fazio, R., (1990). Multiple processes by which attitudes guide behavior: The MODE model as an integrative framework. In M. Zanna (Ed.) Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, vol 23, (pp. 75-109). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
2. Snyder, M. (1982). When believing means doing: Creating links between attitudes and behavior. In M. Zanna, E. Higgins, & C. Herman (Eds.) Consistency in Social Behavior: The Ontario Symposium, vol 2 (pp. 105-130). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.