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Subliminal Advertising

For decades, the phenomenon of subliminal advertising has been a continuous source of public fascination, fear, and scrutiny. The idea that hidden messages in audio, video, or print media might be used to influence consumer behavior has fueled ongoing debate concerning the ethical limits of advertising. Subliminal messages are by nature covert and secretive. They are presented to audiences at levels below the threshold of normal perception—that is, at speeds or frequencies that consumers cannot consciously detect, though such messages may be perceived subconsciously. In short, consumers do not know when subliminal messages are there. This aspect alone may be considered disconcerting. The implications can be considered even more alarming if subliminal messages are used to promote products such as junk foods or alcohol—that is, ...

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