I do believe that playing on people's desires does unfortunately have a place in
advertising. It has the unique ability to create new wants and new desires for different
products and services, many of which we use, even right now. However, I also believe
when advertising promotes a product or service at the expense of the individual and
they're well-being, then it becomes exploitation. An example being, ironically enough,
snake oil, which was advertised to be a cure for most diseases, when in reality it was
made out of what was believed to be mineral oil or beef fat.
No, I believe It is not the advertiser's responsibility to determine if a customer is able
to afford the product or service. The scope of what customers can or can't afford a
product or service is very large. It is up to the customer to decide if they are able to
afford the product or service in question. If they chose to spend their money but knew
they didn't have enough, that is on them, not on the advertiser.
In my personal opinion, I believe we cannot state that marketers are or aren't
enhancing the quality of life in developing countries, nor can we say that they are or
aren't exploiting the well-being of vulnerable consumers. Some products improve the
quality of life, while others' only goal is to earn as much money as possible. A marketers
purpose is to promote a product or service that they wish to sell. Is this an example of a
third-person effect? Absolutely. This is because marketing has greater effects on some
than others for different wants and needs, and can change the perception of others.