Lifestyle Advertising and the Public Good

Roger A. Shiner

in Freedom of Commercial Expression

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780198262619
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682353 | DOI:
Lifestyle Advertising and the Public Good

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It is simply a pretence that commercial advertising is essentially concerned with the provision of information. A great deal — perhaps even almost all — corporate advertising expression does not have anything at all to do with the transmission of information. It is rather to do with the creation of emotional associations, especially associations that will help induce a favourable, and even a desirous, attitude towards the product in question. As Sarah Haan has recently demonstrated, the advertising industry employs sophisticated research in behavioural and cognitive psychology to establish the most successful techniques for directing consumer decision-making towards the preferred products. The paradigm examples of persuasive advertising are constituted by so-called ‘lifestyle advertising’. Another kind of advertising may be called ‘persuasive-contractual’ advertising. This chapter examines lifestyle advertising and the concept of public good. First, it summarises Joseph Raz's public good argument for freedom of expression.

Keywords: Joseph Raz; lifestyle advertising; public good; freedom of expression; persuasive advertising; cognitive psychology

Chapter.  7983 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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