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This is my IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of consumers and advertising from the real IELTS general training exam.

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IELTS Essay: Consumers and Advertising

These days consumers are faced with an increasing amount of advertising from various companies.

To what extent do you think consumers are influenced by advertising?

What measures should be taken to protect them?

Advertising has become an increasingly pervasive and, arguably, compelling presence in the modern world. In my opinion, marketing greatly influences the average consumer and there should strict regulations in place to ensure it does not become overly invasive and manipulative.

Shoppers are persuaded by advertising because it exploits vulnerabilities in human psychology. For decades, advertising agencies have been researching and refining their approaches. Over this time, key tenets have been established that maximize the money spent on marketing. These principles include the so-called “fear of missing out,” social proofing, and various ways of raising brand awareness. For instance, many companies will offer limited-time deals such as the famous “Black Friday” sales in the United States. The best evidence of the effectiveness of these techniques is that corporations continue to employ them and advertising is the single wealthiest industry in the world.

In order to guarantee advertising does not pose a threat to society at large, it should be strictly regulated by the state. A standout example of this relates to health. Companies that manufacture products that are naturally addictive to humans, such as junk foods high in sugar, fat, and carbohydrates, often aim their advertisements at the most vulnerable segments of society including children and obese individuals. Governments can play a key role at this stage by legislating that certain audience segments cannot be targeted. This would likely include preventing companies from accessing private information about online users and from directing their marketing budget towards locations near schools and playgrounds.

In conclusion, advertising is an effective practice and must be stringently regulated by the federal government. These laws will only become more essential in the future as marketing becomes more sophisticated.

Analysis

1. Advertising has become an increasingly pervasive and, arguably, compelling presence in the modern world. 2. In my opinion, marketing greatly influences the average consumer and there should strict regulations in place to ensure it does not become overly invasive and manipulative.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Shoppers are persuaded by advertising because it exploits vulnerabilities in human psychology. 2. For decades, advertising agencies have been researching and refining their approaches. 3. Over this time, key tenets have been established that maximize the money spent on marketing. 4. These principles include the so-called “fear of missing out,” social proofing, and various ways of raising brand awareness. 5. For instance, many companies will offer limited-time deals such as the famous “Black Friday” sales in the United States. 6. The best evidence of the effectiveness of these techniques is that corporations continue to employ them and advertising is the single wealthiest industry in the world.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. You can sometimes include the counterpoint here too.
  6. Finish strong.

1. In order to guarantee advertising does not pose a threat to society at large, it should be strictly regulated by the state. 2. A standout example of this relates to health. 3. Companies that manufacture products that are naturally addictive to humans, such as junk foods high in sugar, fat, and carbohydrates, often aim their advertisements at the most vulnerable segments of society including children and obese individuals. 4. Governments can play a key role at this stage by legislating that certain audience segments cannot be targeted. 5. This would likely include preventing companies from accessing private information about online users and from directing their marketing budget towards locations near schools and playgrounds.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  5. Continue your development.

1. In conclusion, advertising is an effective practice and must be stringently regulated by the federal government. 2. These laws will only become more essential in the future as marketing becomes more sophisticated.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Advertising has become an increasingly pervasive and, arguably, compelling presence in the modern world. In my opinion, marketing greatly influences the average consumer and there should strict regulations in place to ensure it does not become overly invasive and manipulative.

Shoppers are persuaded by advertising because it exploits vulnerabilities in human psychology. For decades, advertising agencies have been researching and refining their approaches. Over this time, key tenets have been established that maximize the money spent on marketing. These principles include the so-called “fear of missing out,” social proofing, and various ways of raising brand awareness. For instance, many companies will offer limited-time deals such as the famous “Black Friday” sales in the United States. The best evidence of the effectiveness of these techniques is that corporations continue to employ them and advertising is the single wealthiest industry in the world.

In order to guarantee advertising does not pose a threat to society at large, it should be strictly regulated by the state. A standout example of this relates to health. Companies that manufacture products that are naturally addictive to humans, such as junk foods high in sugar, fat, and carbohydrates, often aim their advertisements at the most vulnerable segments of society including children and obese individuals. Governments can play a key role at this stage by legislating that certain audience segments cannot be targeted. This would likely include preventing companies from accessing private information about online users and from directing their marketing budget towards locations near schools and playgrounds.

In conclusion, advertising is an effective practice and must be stringently regulated by the federal government. These laws will only become more essential in the future as marketing becomes more sophisticated.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

increasingly pervasive more and more common

arguably it can be argued that, maybe

compelling presence in the modern world persuasive effect today

marketing greatly influences the average consumer advertising impacts people a lot

strict regulations in place clear laws enacted

ensure make sure

overly invasive and manipulative taking too much advantage of

persuaded convinced by, compelled to

exploits vulnerabilities take advantage of weaknesses

human psychology how people think

For decades for many years

advertising agencies marketing firms

researching finding out about

refining perfecting

approaches ways

Over this time this period

key tenets foundational principles

established created

maximize used to the fullest

principles core ideas

so-called alleged

“fear of missing out” being afraid you won’t get something

social proofing similar to word of mouth

various ways of raising brand awareness different methods to build up a company

offer limited-time deals temporary discounts

famous “Black Friday” sales well-known sales after Thanksgiving

The best evidence of the effectiveness of these techniques the clearest illustration that this works

corporations companies

employ use

single wealthiest industry in the world richest field

In order to guarantee so that it is sure that

pose a threat to society at large present risk to all people

strictly regulated by the state controlled by governments

A standout example of this relates to health a good instance of this concerns medicine

manufacture products sell items

naturally addictive make you crave them

junk foods high in sugar, fat, and carbohydrates unhealthy foods with unhealthy ingredients

most vulnerable segments of society weakest parts of the world

obese overweight

play a key role at this stage are crucial then

legislating making laws about

certain audience segments some groups of people

targeted try to sell to

preventing companies from accessing private information about online users stopping corporations from keeping info about your online habits

directing their marketing budget towards locations using their advertising money in places

playgrounds where kids play

effective practice works

stringently regulated strong laws controlling them

federal government the government

essential key

sophisticated complex

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli pɜːˈveɪsɪv 
ˈɑːgjʊəbli
kəmˈpɛlɪŋ ˈprɛzns ɪn ðə ˈmɒdən wɜːld
ˈmɑːkɪtɪŋ ˈgreɪtli ˈɪnflʊənsɪz ði ˈævərɪʤ kənˈsjuːmə 
strɪkt ˌrɛgjʊˈleɪʃənz ɪn pleɪs 
ɪnˈʃʊə 
ˈəʊvəli ɪnˈveɪsɪv ænd məˈnɪpjʊlətɪv
pəˈsweɪdɪd 
ˈɛksplɔɪts ˌvʌlnərəˈbɪlɪtiz 
ˈhjuːmən saɪˈkɒləʤi
fɔː ˈdɛkeɪdz
ˈædvətaɪzɪŋ ˈeɪʤənsiz 
rɪˈsɜːʧɪŋ 
rɪˈfaɪnɪŋ 
əˈprəʊʧɪz
ˈəʊvə ðɪs taɪm
kiː ˈtiːnɛts 
ɪsˈtæblɪʃt 
ˈmæksɪmaɪz 
ˈprɪnsəplz 
ˈsəʊˈkɔːld 
fɪər ɒv ˈmɪsɪŋ aʊt
ˈsəʊʃəl ˈpruːfɪŋ 
ˈveərɪəs weɪz ɒv ˈreɪzɪŋ brænd əˈweənəs
ˈɒfə ˈlɪmɪtɪd-taɪm diːlz 
ˈfeɪməs “blæk ˈfraɪdeɪ” seɪlz 
ðə bɛst ˈɛvɪdəns ɒv ði ɪˈfɛktɪvnəs ɒv ðiːz tɛkˈniːks 
ˌkɔːpəˈreɪʃənz 
ɪmˈplɔɪ 
ˈsɪŋgl ˈwɛlθɪɪst ˈɪndəstri ɪn ðə wɜːld
ɪn ˈɔːdə tuː ˌgærənˈtiː 
pəʊz ə θrɛt tuː səˈsaɪəti æt lɑːʤ
ˈstrɪktli ˈrɛgjʊleɪtɪd baɪ ðə steɪt
ə ˈstændaʊt ɪgˈzɑːmpl ɒv ðɪs rɪˈleɪts tuː hɛlθ
ˌmænjʊˈfækʧə ˈprɒdʌkts 
ˈnæʧrəli əˈdɪktɪv 
ʤʌŋk fuːdz haɪ ɪn ˈʃʊgəfætænd ˈkɑːbəʊˈhaɪdreɪts
məʊst ˈvʌlnərəbl ˈsɛgmənts ɒv səˈsaɪəti 
əʊˈbiːs
pleɪ ə kiː rəʊl æt ðɪs steɪʤ 
ˈlɛʤɪsleɪtɪŋ 
ˈsɜːtn ˈɔːdiəns ˈsɛgmənts 
ˈtɑːgɪtɪd
prɪˈvɛntɪŋ ˈkʌmpəniz frɒm ˈæksɛsɪŋ ˈpraɪvɪt ˌɪnfəˈmeɪʃən əˈbaʊt ˈɒnˌlaɪn ˈjuːzəz 
dɪˈrɛktɪŋ ðeə ˈmɑːkɪtɪŋ ˈbʌʤɪt təˈwɔːdz ləʊˈkeɪʃənz 
ˈpleɪgraʊndz
ɪˈfɛktɪv ˈpræktɪs 
ˈstrɪnʤəntli ˈrɛgjʊleɪtɪd 
ˈfɛdərəl ˈgʌvnmənt
ɪˈsɛnʃəl 
səˈfɪstɪkeɪtɪd

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

Advertising has become an i____________________________e and, a____________y, c__________________________________________d. In my opinion, m___________________________________________r and there should s__________________e to e________e it does not become o____________________________________e.

Shoppers are p______________d by advertising because it e______________________________s in h__________________y. F_______________s, a________________________s have been r_______________g and r____________g their a_______________s. O___________________e, k________________s have been e________________d that m_____________e the money spent on marketing. These p_______________s include the s_______________d “f__________________________t,” s______________________g, and v____________________________________________s. For instance, many companies will o____________________s such as the f________________________________s in the United States. T_____________________________________________________________s is that c__________________s continue to e__________y them and advertising is the s______________________________________________d.

I____________________e advertising does not p___________________________________________e, it should be s_______________________________________e. A_____________________________________________h. Companies that m_______________________________s that are n_____________________e to humans, such as j_________________________________________s, often aim their advertisements at the m_____________________________________y including children and o______e individuals. Governments can p________________________e by l____________g that c_________________________________s cannot be t____________d. This would likely include p______________________________________________________________s and from d______________________________________________________s near schools and p_______________s.

In conclusion, advertising is an e_____________________e and must be s_________________________d by the f_____________________________t. These laws will only become more e____________l in the future as marketing becomes more s_________________d.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching from YouTube below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Advertising

  1. What kind of ads are common in your country?
  2. Do you think companies should be allowed to advertise to children?
  3. Are there laws regulating ads where you live?
  4. What makes a good advertisement?
  5. Will ads still be useful and common in the future?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topics below:

Some believe that people will purchase a product based on their needs and advertising is not needed.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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