3.1 The definition and types of advertisements
Advertising is one of the approach that can be done by businesses to persuade consumers on buying their products or services. It is also a medium to provide information about the products or services to the consumer and had been used for many years to influence the buying behaviours of the consumer. According to Romaniuk and Sharp (2004), the most used promotional tool in marketing today is advertising. Similarly, Jalees (2006) considers advertising as the most effective marketing tool for any organisation. Businesses had spent a lots of money on advertisements as they believe advertisement will increase their profits. Wells, et al. 2007 mentioned advertisement is a unidirectional and paid form of communication that is used to disseminate the product or services information. Ayanwale et al. (2005) define advertising as a non-personal paid form of thoughts, notions, products or services, and information that are endorsed through mass media by an identified sponsor to persuade or influence behaviour. In contemporary marketing practices, advertisement means to create a need of the product in the mind of the consumers to influence its mind in a way that he feels thrust for that product weather he really needs that product or not (Singh, 1998). Milner (1995) sees advertising as an influential communication force and a vital marketing tool that helps to sell goods, services, images, and ideas through a channel of information and persuasion. Rafique et al, 2012 argued that advertisement is a way to communicate with the audience. Based on all these definitions, we can see points to the fact that the advertiser’s primary objective is to reach prospective customers and influence their awareness, attitudes and purchasing behaviour.
3.1.1 Techniques used in advertisements
There are many techniques used in the advertisements, for example;
Aspirational advertisement: This type of advertisement is most successful in young age people. This kind of advertisement involves the slogans and taglines which inspire them. For example “most beautiful me” and “true perfection has to be imperfect”. Aspirational advertisements are mainly based on three pillars that are perfection, sex appeal and status (OAKLEY, 2009).
Celebrity Endorsement: this kind of advertisement is very important and successful in all age group especially young people. Using the celebrity may enhance the trust of the people to buy product but it is not evident that this kind of advertisement also provides brand loyalty (OAKLEY, 2009).
Social responsibility advertisements: like dove many cosmetics brand are associated with the benefits of the society. According to survey women wearing cosmetic feel confident because these brands advertise them as providing the confident in the society (OAKLEY, 2009).
3.2 The benefits and effects of advertisements toward consumer
A good advertisement had been proved to have a direct and positive relationship with consumer behaviours. A good advertisements had influenced consumer’s decision making on buying behaviour. There are many benefits of advertisements on consumer, such as, by the present of advertisements, consumer can obtained a lots of information about a product that she interested to buy. This will help them in decision making process. On the other hand, Pope (2009) found that repetition in the advertisement hit the mind of the customers which also help them to remember that product and purchase repeatedly. Repetitive advertisement are believed as a good advertisements strategy because it can influence consumer on their buying behaviour and can attack more and more customers (Xu Yang, 2012). Laplante and Downie (2011) believes advertising effect on customer motivation from various perceptive such as happiness, fantasy, awakening, sensuality, and enjoyment on marketing globally. Gallarza and Holbrook (2011) also covered future idea to concentrating on elements like pleasure, feeling, aesthetics, emotion, and satisfaction to obtain high profitability and consumer motivations. When the consumer see such a good advertisement, with wonderful story, beautiful background and a good quality of video, they will feel happy, satisfied and confident to buy the products. Besides, Teo and Yu (2005) describe that the convenience value of customer to satisfy and cost saving will brought by advertisements such as online advertising because it allows customer to play the expected role within limited time and space in marketplace. Moreover, Bridges and Florsheim (2008) stated advertisements like online advertising as continuous service, which is available by time and space. This is because consumer can access the online advertisement anywhere and anytime that they like. Mollen and Wilson (2010) stated that customer convenience is significant to differentiate further of online advertising value because it integrates many intellectual features of attitude like economic value, quality, evaluating, matching traders, and saving time-based and psychological resources. Other than that, customer purchasing validity concentrate on total assessment of functional profits and costs such as entertainment and escapism to identify as important elements of online advertising in marketplace (Babin, 2005).
3.3 Problems related to advertisement
Although, as we can see and agree, there are many benefits and positive impacts of advertisements toward consumer, we cannot denied that there are also many problems caused by the advertisements. Majority of these problems came from contemporary and controversial advertisements. Nowadays, the way of the businesses creates advertisements, to increase their profits, are quiet offensive and inappropriate especially for children.
There are many problems related to this unethical ways of practicing advertisements. An advertisement could become controversial either because of the nature of product being advertised or the manner in which a generally acceptable product is advertised. There are many advertisement that advertising controversial and offensive products. In an exploratory study of TV advertising, two different dimensions of “offensiveness” were identified and labeled as offensive products and offensive execution (Barnes and Dotson, 1990). Generally, products that could harm the public moral or physical health, considered socially indecent and unmentionable in public are considered controversial to be advertised. According to Katsanis, 1994 unmentionables also can be defined as “offensive, embarrassing, harmful, socially unacceptable or controversial to significant segment of the population”. Past research affirms that cigarettes, condoms, contraceptives and alcohol products are considered controversial (Schuster and Powell, 1987; Willson and West, 1981). Feminine hygiene products have also been categorized as controversial products (Rehman and Brooks, 1987). Apart from academic research, professionals also consider that advertising of feminine hygiene products in general were of “poor taste”, “irritating”, and “most hated” (Alter, 1982; Barnes and Dotson, 1990; Hume, 1988). Others suggest a different typology, based on products, services, and concepts. The product list includes personal hygiene, birth control, warfare, and drugs for terminal illness. Services includes abortion, sterilization, venereal disease, mental illness, funeral directors, and artificial insemination while concepts include political ideas, palliative care, unconventional sexual practices, racial/religious prejudice, and terrorism (Willson and West, 1981).
On the other hand, many contemporary advertisements exposed and provided false information to attract customers. Islam doesn’t tolerate to do injustice with the people even if there is a risk of loss in the business. It is clearly mentioned in the book of Allah that, “Standout firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourself, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor….” (Quran, 4:135). Selling a product by telling a lie and defect the customer is totally against the Islamic way of doing business. The prophet of Allah said “The sign of a hypocrite are three 1. Whenever he speaks he tells a lie. 2. Whenever he promise, He always break it. 3. If you trust him, he proves to be dishonest” (Al-Bukhari, 1.32).
Singh, 1998 pointed out that the main problem in the contemporary advertisement is the absence of any acceptable code of ethics. In contemporary advertisement, the exaggerated features of the product are advertised and through this bluff customers are motivated to spend money on a product, which they don’t need. Islam on the other hand does not tolerate this act of deception as it is clearly mentioned in the book of Allah “Give just measures and cause no loss. And weigh with scales true and upright and withhold not things justly due to men” (Quran, 26:181). Based on Islamic business ethics, honesty is the key to all business practices. Once a Bedouin questioned to the Messenger of Allah that when the dooms day take place, The Prophet replayed that “When honesty is lost, then wait for the doomsday”(Beekun, 1997).
Next, currently in many Islamic countries including Pakistan, sexual appeals are used in advertisement to promote the products, and this is contrary to Islamic ethical system (Akhtar et al., 2011). These sexual appeals are used in different ways for example by depicting a level of nudity in the advertisement and by the use of good-looking models (Severn, Belch, and Belch 1990). Severn et al. also pointed out that these appeals might also be included suggestive verbal sentences. For example the use of such words on TV that are un-discussable publicly will create a social problem among youth.
Rogers et al., (1995) pointed out that ignoring the Islamic perspective while advertising in Muslim countries can indulge MNCs not only in risk of conflict with the local consumers but also in risk of alienation with a remarkable proportion of their target audience.
3.4 Solution on those problems created by advertisement
There are no better solution other than using Qur’an and Hadis as a guidance and using Islamic way of business to solve this social and ethical problem that are created by the contemporary advertisement practices. To overcome the ethical issue on advertisements, we can practice the roots of Islamic Business ethics that can be traced from Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUM) (Darwish, 2000) and by using Quran and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUM) as a source of knowledge, advertisement practices are critically analyzed and arguments are constructed on the basis of this critical analysis.
Fatima and Lodhi 2015)
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(Zinyemba and Manase 2015)
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(Shyan Fam, Waller, and Zafer Erdogan 2004)
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(Bari and Abbas 2011)
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(Naser Zourikalatehsamad, Seyed Abdorreza Payambarpour, Ibrahim Alwashali 2015)
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(de Run et al. 2010)
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