Picture for illustrative purposes Image Credit: Stock image

A picture plastered on a billboard of a shinier screen and brighter colours are some ways people are persuaded to give away their perfectly working phones for a new one. How detrimental is this consumerist behaviour to the environment? Gulf News readers debate

Free will

People make their own choices

Advertising does push people to get the latest gadgets in the market. Advertising plays a big role in the purchase journey of a new product, from awareness to research and to final purchase. It’s an important role and in my opinion, it impacts people in a positive way because through advertising the product, people are learning more about it and are encouraged to find out more. It’s clear that the goal for advertising is to get sales however, advertising has made it very easy for people to see the trending products in the market, new product releases, recommended products based on the person’s purchase history. People are constantly being served with all this at their convenience and their choice of whether to purchase or not. Advertising has taken over all areas and is available in different forms from outdoor to digital to word of mouth. This is something positive because people are constantly being fed with new and exciting information. At the end of the day, it’s up to the people as to what they do with this information. Advertising doesn’t force you to purchase, it simply provides information.

From Ms Refqah Istaitiyeh

Account executive based in Dubai

Age of marketing

Advertisers help the economy

We are now living in a digital age and economies are starting to flourish with our new digital economy - everything is digital. What we do, how we organise our everyday lives and our everyday interaction. Marketing drives the economy and brings it to its succession. Without marketing, consumers would not be aware of viable products and brands that are around them. Marketing does not create needs and wants for consumers, it does not drive them to directly purchase their products. But instead, the main purpose of marketing and advertising is to help the businesses channel their brand to many consumers. Marketing drives the whole economy, yes, it is also used to deceive people into spending, if there was no cash flow around the society, the economy won’t flourish.

When it comes to the environmental impact of advertising, paper use has decreased at an exponential rate. Advertisers mainly rely on environmentally friendly methods to raise awareness such as ads on social media, television, and any electronic device that is within our direct reach. Enabling them to grasp our attention while conserving methods that are a negative impact to the environment.

From Mr Adam Khattab

Sales executive based in Dubai

Unsustainable habits

Detrimental to the environment

While advertising and with it, the competition it brings, is a good thing to boost the economy and consumer spending, it has a number of detrimental effects that it brings along. Firstly, we are buying the latest items that come up in the market due to trends and the adverts we are bombarded with each day, without realising whether we need a certain gadget and if it would make a significant difference in our lives.

Let’s talk electronics and tech gadgets. Each new model that is being brought out is not very different from the last version unless it is a breakthrough item or technology. We are buying such products and discarding them at the command of these companies without even realising it and during the process, hurting the environment greatly. I believe, if we all stop falling into the traps of advertisers and companies, we would actually drive firms to make better products, possibly at a slower rate but at least they would be beneficial to us and not as damaging to the planet as well.

From Mr Mohammad Osama Ahmad

Transportation and city planner based in Sharjah

Poll result

Is advertising pushing us to buy the latest gadgets that we don’t necessarily need?

Yes: 65%

No: 35%

Have your say

What forces dictate consumer spending patterns?