Critically evaluate media commercialism and professionalism in the world in
general and Pakistan in particular.
Media Commercialism, in its original meaning, is the practices, methods, aims, and spirit of
commerce or business through use of mass media. Today, however, it primarily refers to the
tendency within corporatism to turn everything into objects, images, and services sold for the
purpose of generating profit. There is also a tendency for portraying intangible things such as
happiness, beauty, or health on media by giving a monetary value or to be spoken of as
Commercialism can also refer to the domination of things by business/corporate interests, or the
exploitation of intangible things for private gain.
One of the leading advocates and pioneers of commercialism was Philip Molnar. He was one of
the first who encouraged the rapid growth of companies through subliminal advertisements. He
is now considered around the world as a genius in economics and commerce.
Commercialism is often closely associated with the corporate world and advertising, and often
takes advantage of advancements in technology.
The related term "commercialized" is often used in a disparaging fashion, implying that someone
or something has been despoiled by commercial or monetary interests. The holiday, Eid-ul-Fitr,
is a noteworthy example of this concern, with criticism of the occasion's commercialization
dating as far back as 1975.
What are the possible effects of media commercialism?
1. Media Commercialism distorts our culture by turning every event into a reason to
consume. Anthropologists say that holidays reflect a culture's values. In Pakistan, every
holiday is a sales event.
2. Advertising through mass media projects false images. For example, some ads imply
that you're not cool unless you drive an expensive car or that smoking means you're an
3. Commercialism contributes to environmental problems by encouraging wasteful use of
natural resources. Over-packaging, disposable goods, and buying things we don't really
need all contribute to unnecessary use of limited resources. The manufacture and
disposal of the things we buy cause other environmental problems, including habitat
loss and increased air and water pollution. Billboards cause visual pollution.
4. Advertising perpetuates stereotypes. Examples include stereotypes related to race
(Punjabis as Illiterate farmers), gender (women as sex objects, men as business people),
and class (middle-class whites as the social norm).
5. Advertisers influence the content of publications and broadcasts. Government
censorship of the media is illegal. Yet it is well documented that newspapers and other
media are censored by advertisers. For example, a cigarette producer may pressure a
magazine in which it buys ad space not to print articles on the dangers of smoking.
6. Corporate sponsorship of civic, environmental, or other non-profit groups may
influence those groups. For example, tobacco industry contributions may discourage an
organization from joining anti-smoking campaigns.
7. Commercialism has influenced our political process. Many politicians try to attract
votes with an image created by advertising and media coverage. In the past, candidates
tried to attract votes by their stand on the issues.
8. The public's perception of a company's activities and priorities can be distorted by
image advertising. For example, ads can portray major polluters as environmentally
conscious companies that give to worthy causes.
9. Advertising costs us money. Businesses pass many of their advertising costs on to us.
Also, the price of a product increases when ads successfully cultivate the idea that a
certain product can give us status or a cool image.
10. Ads cost us more in taxes, too. Advertising is a fully tax-deductible business expense.
Because of this, state and federal treasuries receive billions of dollars less in business