Ads are suffocating American society

In Opinion
Advertisements are found almost everywhere you look nowadays, whether online or in print. The necessary evil is slowly taking over publications because consumers are not willing to do what it takes to get the information that matters rather than the information that’s cheaper.
(Natalie Goldstein / Daily Titan)

They’re here, they’re there, they’re every-f—ing-where. Pervasive advertising has bled through every aspect of typical American life whether it be on radio, television, a webpage or in print.

Giant billboards line our streets and freeways, ironically telling drivers that they should be drinking a Coors Light. Thirty second ads precede 10 second YouTube videos. Movies on television air for increments of 10 minutes until we are bombarded with commercials for prescription drugs and laundry detergent. The algorithm of these endorsements has clearly become cold and fickle as time and money moves forward.

Print publications have been scrambling for ways to stay afloat since the internet has started gaining momentum.

The reliance on advertising for finances has started to become newspaper’s downfall, even though it’s what is keeping them going.

With print publication starting to become more filled with advertisements than real articles, the public’s demand falls.

As newspapers fade, their online translations are no paradise either. Internet advertising accounts for most of a website’s content, and it will only continue to take over as 11.22 percent of global internet advertising is said to grow over the next four years, according to The world is slowly becoming one big advertisement.

With Global ad spending nearing the 600 billion dollar mark by the end of next year, according to CBC, there’s no question that the world can’t escape the clutches of those dreamy Carl’s Jr. commercial’s, or the printed images of an accounting firm looking just for you.

This giant price, however, seems to have not paid off. Newspaper ad revenue fell four percent every year until it reached $19.9 billion, which is less than half of what it was 10 years ago, according the Pew Research Center.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual report showed Digital Ad Revenue rose to $59.6 billion in 2015. It seems that the money was wasted on print publications.

The point is that ads being used on newspapers are wasted because the readers are finding their interests met better online. Therefore the advertisement business thrives online. In order to combat this excessive advertising online, ad blockers were developed.

“As of Q2 2015, there were 198 million active adblock extension users around the world,” according to Search Engine Land.

Much to the dismay of advertisers, they admit that the rise in ad blockers is the fault of large amounts of low quality and untargeted ads like click-bait and auto-play videos, according to CBC.

Ad blocking is the cure for online advertisement, however, it is not sustainable. If ads are not being viewed or clicked on, then the free content comes to an end. Unfortunately, ads are a necessary part of life.

It’s best to just read print newspapers because although they cannot be affected by an ad blocker, their ads are much more high quality and localized to their audience–not to mention they can’t give viruses or corrupt anything.

Now the sword falls into the hands of the public. If newspaper publications can get more subscribers, then they wouldn’t have to deal with advertisements to stay alive. A testament to how important print publications are can be seen on every television news station. Almost every “according to” or “based on studies” can be traced to an unnamed journalist at a newspaper publication.

“Given the option to do the right thing or the free thing…consumers will always choose the free thing,” said Jess Greenwood of the New York ad agency R/GA. However, it is the consumer’s responsibility to do what needs to be done in order to keep their free content.

The only way we can continue to question, study and figure out our society is to forget whatever is online and put in the extra effort to support print. What’s a few dollars a month to get great articles that dig deep and reveal things you would never know otherwise?

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