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Advertising is an institution
that plays a pivotal role in our society. It impacts our economy by providing information to consumers as well as jobs, and it acts as a source of revenue that helps to maintain and grow our media system. Advertising as a means of focusing consumer attention can help to stimulate consumption and can even be thought of as a socialization agent along with others in society such as schools, family, friends and the media in general. Advertising can teach people some of the norms and values of a culture, while simultaneously conveying knowledge about what products exist in the marketplace.

Advertising is clearly an important institution, and like many multifacete`d entities it can have both positive and negative influences on society. Therefore it is important to understand the dynamics of advertising and all of its influences on society, both intended and unintended. By doing this and encouraging self-regulation we can minimize the negative outcomes and help to foster a competitive market system, while also protecting consumers and their rights to honest and truthful information.

As markets around the globe continue to open, exchanging information, goods and services, advertisers are facing difficult questions of how best to communicate their messages to diverse cultures of consumers. Issues of localization, globalization and even relatively new terms like glocalization come into play, as do concerns over the homogenization of values and cultures.

New technology, such as the Internet further adds to the complexity of the advertising task. Beyond cultural preferences, and infrastructure issues, advertisers must also contend with differences in online regulations of products and services from country to country and even evolving regulations within any one country. Major issues such as privacy rights have emerged, along with the need to protect children and other consumers from potentially harmful messages, products and services.

In light of the pivotal role of advertising in a free market economy and the fading of national borders, as well as the potential unintended consequences of advertising messages, classes on International Advertising and those examining the Effects of Advertising on Society are crucial to prepare students of today to be successful and responsible professionals of tomorrow.

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