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An Analysis of Government Health Warnings on Cigarette Advertisements and Restrictions by the Advertising Standards Authority
Word Count: 10,747
Abstract Since the late 1970s requirements to have government health warnings on cigarette advertisements and restrictions by the Advertising Standards Authority on associating smoking with glamorous lifestyle have been accompanied by the development of surrealist advertising particularly by Gallaher with their Silk Cut and Benson and Hedges brands This chapter proposes that elements of the tobacco industry having long recognised the power of sexuality in advertising have now tapped into the lure of Freuds counterpoint to Eros - the death instinct or Thanatos Whether this happens consciously or unconsciously is of little consequence since the culture from which such advertising derives may be impaired in its capacity to be life-affirming and thus finds violation to be a source of entertainment The issue therefore opens into questions of wider cultural psychopathology ranging from tobacco addiction to consumer addiction and the world ecological crisis Psychological and spiritual mechanisms by which violative advertising might trigger deep necrophilic and sexually abusive motivations are discussed as are the implications for therapeutic work at both individual and cultural levels in political leadership and for health education These include the need to sensitise people to the significance of violative imagery in advertising and its role in psychospiritual exploitation Surrealism in Advertising In his First Manifesto of Surrealism Andre Breton 1924 defined surrealism as being that by which one intends to express verbally in writing or by any other method the real functioning of the mind Any claim that a surrealist advertisement is meaningless ought to be treated with suspicion All but the most crass advertisements are predicated on the recognition that rationality plays only a small role in behaviour Deep seated emotions such as love guilt and fear are what motivate The successful advertisement revolves around association metaphor and symbol A symbol is a means of transforming reality and with it behaviour To be at its most effective
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