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Discuss how some advertising agencies use shock tactics to gain the audiences attention. Evaluate this technique with reference to one campaign - Barnardos.

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Introduction

Discuss how some advertising agencies use shock tactics to gain the audiences attention. Evaluate this technique with reference to one campaign. Advertising agencies use shock tactics in their advertisements so that the audience would recognise the issue raised in the campaigns. Agencies do this so the audience feel sorry, guilty, horrified and make them see beyond their own lives. Barnardos have a reputation for using shock tactics in their advertising campaigns. They were forced to axe a pre-Christmas advertising campaign after the Advertising Standards Authority ruled the content to be too shocking. The campaign featured computer-generated images of newborn babies with cockroaches, syringes and methylated spirits in their mouths. ...read more.

Middle

However the ASA's argument was that the adverts might encourage people to mistreat children or themselves. There were four adverts released. One of the four did not upset the public because it showed a nice baby, well dressed with a silver spoon in it's mouth and the message "If only every child in the UK was born with a silver spoon". The baby looks happy and loved, this picture has the connotations of upper class. The other three pictures shows the babies with harmful objects in their mouths, this shows that they are living in poor conditions, unloved, unclean, and that they are born into a drug addiction or alcoholism environment. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think this specific Barnardos campaign has pushed the boundaries slightly too far and could have made the pictures more tasteful and appealing to the public. However because there has been such uproar about this particular campaign the company has had more publicity then perhaps intended. The reason that this campaign has had so many complaints from the public is because the adverts are making the audience think about what could be happening outside their life. The ideology is that the public don't want to see these adverts and want to turn a blind eye to the truth of what actually is happening outside their own life. However the adverts were made for the audience to see beyond what the images show, because obviously the images aren't real and it wouldn't happen to such an extent in real life. ...read more.

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