The issue of racist stereotyping in advertising

1.Is it right to racially stereotype for advertising purposes?

I think that racial stereotyping is not totally wrong. A stereotype is an exaggerated image.They are right at some level. For example, looking at my hometown Japanese stereotype, people say that Japanese are punctual. In fact, not all Japanese are punctual. Actually, some of my Japanese friends always delay for meeting time. However, at least public transportation is punctual and when it comes to business, they keep to time.Therefore, this Japanese stereo type is not completely wrong. Stereotypes are sometimes useful to describe people in other group. Especially in commercials  which don’t have a long time to tell messages to audiences. Some stereo types are used to describe the bad aspect of a group or to make fun of a group. For example, Japanese people wear glasses and have buck teeth. This stereotype was mainly used during WW2. These type of stereotypes should be prohibited. People who are in the same group and have the same characteristics are more or less like family members and have similar characters. Therefore, to know about another country briefly, knowing stereotypes is useful.

2. Is racism in advertising a thing of the past?

I don’t think racism is advertising only in the past. Some countries don’t take racial problems seriously. Actually, when I watched some commercials in last class, a few of commercials didn’t seem to have racial problem for me. Maybe most of Japanese people think so. Japan is a homogenous country so they tend to be careless about racial problems. I think that as long as there is a country like Japan, racial problem would continue in the form of advertisement. I don’t mean that Japanese do racial discrimination on purpose. I want to say that Japanese people sometimes happen to do thing that could be considered as racial discrimination unconsciously.

3.Do advertisers have ethical responsibilities?

Since advertisements are seen by a lot of people everyday, advertisers have responsibility for acknowledging racial problem.

    “With the average American exposed to between 500 and 1,000 commercial messages a day, it wields considerable power over what we consider normal. An example that came to mind for me was the idea of cosmetics for men. Only a few years ago, the idea that men might want to use moisturisers would have been laughable to most British men. A sustained advertising campaign from Nivea later, including prominent billboards at football stadiums, and there’s nothing unusual at all about men using hand cream.” THE CULTURAL IMPACT OF ADVERTISING(

Advertising could form common sense given its huge influence. Therefore, advertising has a responsibility to prohibit racial discrimination.


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