Deceptive Advertising…or Deceptive World?

Have you ever thought about the advertisements that you see on TV and/or in magazines? I usually don’t think about them or the content of them, but I saw a print ad today that made me think about what exactly the advertisers are doing.

I subscribe to Sports Illustrated (typical dude) and the newest issue came today and I was just kind of flipping through it when I ran across an ad that I had to give a second look. The first thing on the page that I saw was a Toyota Camry, and then as I was flipping away, I glanced at the top of the page. There was a woman with who was exposing her shoulders (making the appearance that she was topless).

So, being the inquisitive person that I am, I started to look at why the ad would have that in it. I could find no reason at all. So, I am concluding that this woman was there just to draw attention to the ad. Well, I have to say it must have worked for me, because it got my attention, but not for the reason of most people, I think. I was intrigued because I have created ads from scratch for about the past four years, so I always try to find the reasoning behind ads.

It was then I started looking closer at the ads in this particular magazine. Sure enough, I found an ad for a Dell computer. There wasn’t just this computer on the page describing features, but there was also a woman in a mini black dress kneeling beside the computer. Why was she there? No reason other than to draw attention to the ad.

This type of advertising disgusts me, not only as an advertiser myself, but as a Christian. This type of advertising has a chance to take hold of my thoughts. It was at this point that I was reminded(not by chance I don’t think, because I don’t believe in chance encounters or coincidences) of a verse in 1 Corinthians. The verse is found in chapter ten, verse five. It says, “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…”

What a great verse at a time such as this. Funny how God works sometimes isn’t it? So, I started thinking, why was a bell going off in my head when I saw these ads telling me that something was wrong? I think that was God’s still small voice alerting me to this.

So how am I to take captive every thought? I think it has to do with Ephesians 6:10-16. You can read it for yourself (and if you don’t have a bible, I will get you one). I want to point out verse 16, though. It says, “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”

I think that ads such as these are Satan’s way of throwing “fiery darts,” and it is my responsibility as a child of God to stand against these darts, not on my own, but by putting on the armor of God.

Is this type of advertising the fault of the advertisers? I would say no – it is the fault of the world we live in. Oh thank God that I am not a citizen of this world, for my citizenship belongs in heaven.

On a final note, just so that I am not labeled a hypocrite, I choose not to receive the Swimsuit Issue every year.

– Adam Smith


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