Consumer sovereignty

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateB+, November 1996

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Consumer sovereignty is the determination by consumers, of the types and

quantities of goods and services produced by the economy. But in today's society, does

this "sovereignty" actually exist? In agreeing with John Kenneth Galbraith, I think not! I

say this simply because in today's world, advertising plays such a large role in the

everyday lives of consumers.

The concept of advertising is simple: It's central function is to create desires.

And in creating these desires, the sovereignty that consumers once had the luxury of

enjoying is taken away. I say , "taken away", because only when advertising occurs,

does the want for a certain product exist, therefore creating a want that the consumer

feels obligated to pursue. This is a direct example of just how consumer sovereignty is

lost through advertising.

An advertisers' primary objective is to influence the consumers decision. And in

today's world, it is not difficult to see just hew advertisers do so.

Using commercials,

radio ads, billboards, etc., the advertisers' are virtually everywhere you look. Whether it

be on the side of a bus, in a newspaper, or even in a movie, many of today's products are

marketed so heavily that the consumer is left with no other choice than to be influenced.

An example of just how we cannot turn without facing some sort of advertising is with

movie tie-in's. With the enormous success of advertisements linked with children's

movies, such as in "The Lion King", which promoted products stretching from dolls to

clothing, movies aimed at adults are now getting into the act. Just when you thought that

movie-related products had reached its apex, new products such as "The Bridges of

Madison County" perfume, and the "James Bond" BMW, are entering the market.

Not only does the way that companies advertise have...