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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of the influence of ads from the real general training IELTS exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Influence of Ads

Consumers are faced with increasing numbers of advertisements from competing companies.

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

What measures can be taken to protect them?

Advertising is becoming increasingly pervasive and this has led some to question its influence on the average person. In my opinion, advertisements are indeed persuasive and most consumers could be better protected if governmental regulations were stricter.

Potential customers are greatly influenced, consciously and unconsciously, by advertising. The best evidence for the effectiveness of advertising does not come from scientific studies but the continued investment of powerful corporations. Corporations have become more efficient and clever in their use of advertising and this is clearly demonstrated in the growth of companies such as Facebook and Google which generate the majority of revenue from marketing. Advertisers are now able to target specific audience segments online and tailor ads to vulnerable demographics. Often these commercials and posts do not compel an immediate purchase, however, they linger subconsciously in users’ minds and contribute to overall brand awareness.

Such pervasive advertising can be countered only through laws. Individuals themselves often do not understand the threat or they lack the willpower to stay off the internet, where most advertising now occurs. Law-makers, in contrast, have the ability to enact regulations designed to ban certain kinds of advertisements and protect the general populace. For example, after United States elections in 2016, the government investigated and passed strict regulation to limit how foreign powers are able to purchase advertising space on social media to influence politics. Some of these laws should be extended more broadly to the corporate world so that, for instance, companies cannot target individuals susceptible to addictive behaviors by marketing unhealthy foods, videogames, and questionable pharmaceuticals.

In conclusion, the amount of investment in the advertising industry clearly shows the tremendous impact of marketing and federal governments are responsible for legislation. If steps are not taken, advertising may do irreparable harm to society in the future.

Analysis

1. Advertising is becoming increasingly pervasive and this has led some to question its influence on the average person. 2. In my opinion, advertisements are indeed persuasive and most consumers could be better protected if governmental regulations were stricter.

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

1. Potential customers are greatly influenced, consciously and unconsciously, by advertising. 2. The best evidence for the effectiveness of advertising does not come from scientific studies but the continued investment of powerful corporations. 3. Corporations have become more efficient and clever in their use of advertising and this is clearly demonstrated in the growth of companies such as Facebook and Google which generate the majority of revenue from marketing. 4. Advertisers are now able to target specific audience segments online and tailor ads to vulnerable demographics. 5. Often these commercials and posts do not compel an immediate purchase, however, they linger subconsciously in users’ minds and contribute to overall brand awareness.

  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. Extend with some long sentences as well.

1. Such pervasive advertising can be countered only through laws. 2. Individuals themselves often do not understand the threat or they lack the willpower to stay off the internet, where most advertising now occurs. 3. Law-makers, in contrast, have the ability to enact regulations designed to ban certain kinds of advertisements and protect the general populace. 4. For example, after United States elections in 2016, the government investigated and passed strict regulation to limit how foreign powers are able to purchase advertising space on social media to influence politics. 5. Some of these laws should be extended more broadly to the corporate world so that, for instance, companies cannot target individuals susceptible to addictive behaviors by marketing unhealthy foods, videogames, and questionable pharmaceuticals.

  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. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!

1. In conclusion, the amount of investment in the advertising industry clearly shows the tremendous impact of marketing and federal governments are responsible for legislation. 2. If steps are not taken, advertising may do irreparable harm to society in the future.

  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 is becoming increasingly pervasive and this has led some to question its influence on the average person. In my opinion, advertisements are indeed persuasive and most consumers could be better protected if governmental regulations were stricter.

Potential customers are greatly influenced, consciously and unconsciously, by advertising. The best evidence for the effectiveness of advertising does not come from scientific studies but the continued investment of powerful corporations. Corporations have become more efficient and clever in their use of advertising and this is clearly demonstrated in the growth of companies such as Facebook and Google which generate the majority of revenue from marketing. Advertisers are now able to target specific audience segments online and tailor ads to vulnerable demographics. Often these commercials and posts do not compel an immediate purchase, however, they linger subconsciously in users’ minds and contribute to overall brand awareness.

Such pervasive advertising can be countered only through laws. Individuals themselves often do not understand the threat or they lack the willpower to stay off the internet, where most advertising now occurs. Law-makers, in contrast, have the ability to enact regulations designed to ban certain kinds of advertisements and protect the general populace. For example, after United States elections in 2016, the government investigated and passed strict regulation to limit how foreign powers are able to purchase advertising space on social media to influence politics. Some of these laws should be extended more broadly to the corporate world so that, for instance, companies cannot target individuals susceptible to addictive behaviors by marketing unhealthy foods, videogames, and questionable pharmaceuticals.

In conclusion, the amount of investment in the advertising industry clearly shows the tremendous impact of marketing and federal governments are responsible for legislation. If steps are not taken, advertising may do irreparable harm to society in the future.

Answers

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

advertising commercials, marketing, banner ads, pop-ups, etc.

increasingly pervasive more and more common

question doubt

influence impact

average person normal person

indeed persuasive in fact influential

better protected improved care

governmental regulations laws from the government

stricter more severe

potential customers possible buyers

greatly influenced significantly affected

consciously intentionally

unconsciously without knowing it is happening

best evidence clearest support

effectiveness impact

scientific studies research

continued investment further money put into

powerful corporations important companies

efficient saving time and money

clever intelligent

clearly demonstrated obviously shown

growth increase

generate create

majority most of

revenue money earned

marketing advertising

advertisers people who do advertising

target specific audience segments online located particular demographics through the internet

tailor ads create specific advertisements

vulnerable demographics weak groups of people

compel force

immediate purchase buy right away

however but

linger subconsciously hang around in the back of your mind

users’ minds brain of people online

contribute to overall brand awareness add to knowing about the company/product

pervasive common

countered fought against

laws regulations

threat risk

lack not have

willpower strength

stay off keep away from

occurs happens

law-makers politicians

in contrast however

enact regulations create laws

designed to ban meant to prevent

protect the general populace keep people safe

elections voting for politicians

investigated researched

passed strict regulation created strong laws

limit control

foreign powers governments from other countries

purchase advertising space buy ads

social media TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

politics leaders, governments, etc.

extended lengthened

broadly generally

corporate world companies

target individuals susceptible to addictive behaviors locate people who can be easily persuaded to buy things

marketing unhealthy foods advertise fast food

questionable pharmaceuticals bad drugs

tremendous impact huge effect

federal governments national governments

responsible have a duty

legislation laws

if steps are not taken if nothing is done

irreparable harm hurt that can’t be fixed

Pronunciation

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

ˈædvətaɪzɪŋ 
ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli pɜːˈveɪsɪv 
ˈkwɛsʧən 
ˈɪnflʊəns 
ˈævərɪʤ ˈpɜːsn
ɪnˈdiːd pəˈsweɪsɪv 
ˈbɛtə prəˈtɛktɪd 
ˌgʌvənˈmɛntl ˌrɛgjʊˈleɪʃənz 
ˈstrɪktə
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl ˈkʌstəməz 
ˈgreɪtli ˈɪnflʊənst
ˈkɒnʃəsli 
ʌnˈkɒnʃəsli
bɛst ˈɛvɪdəns 
ɪˈfɛktɪvnəs 
ˌsaɪənˈtɪfɪk ˈstʌdiz 
kənˈtɪnju(ː)d ɪnˈvɛstmənt 
ˈpaʊəfʊl ˌkɔːpəˈreɪʃənz
ɪˈfɪʃənt 
ˈklɛvə 
ˈklɪəli ˈdɛmənstreɪtɪd 
grəʊθ 
ˈʤɛnəreɪt 
məˈʤɒrɪti 
ˈrɛvɪnjuː 
ˈmɑːkɪtɪŋ
ˈædvətaɪzəz 
ˈtɑːgɪt spɪˈsɪfɪk ˈɔːdiəns ˈsɛgmənts ˈɒnˌlaɪn 
ˈteɪlər ædz 
ˈvʌlnərəbl ˌdɛməˈgræfɪks
kəmˈpɛl 
ɪˈmiːdiət ˈpɜːʧəs
haʊˈɛvə
ˈlɪŋgə ˌsʌbˈkɒnʃəsli 
ˈjuːzəz maɪndz 
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)t tuː ˈəʊvərɔːl brænd əˈweənəs
pɜːˈveɪsɪv 
ˈkaʊntəd 
lɔːz
θrɛt 
læk 
ˈwɪlˌpaʊə 
steɪ ɒf 
əˈkɜːz
lɔː-ˈmeɪkəz
ɪn ˈkɒntrɑːst
ɪˈnækt ˌrɛgjʊˈleɪʃənz 
dɪˈzaɪnd tuː bæn 
prəˈtɛkt ðə ˈʤɛnərəl ˈpɒpjʊləs
ɪˈlɛkʃənz 
ɪnˈvɛstɪgeɪtɪd 
pɑːst strɪkt ˌrɛgjʊˈleɪʃən 
ˈlɪmɪt 
ˈfɒrɪn ˈpaʊəz 
ˈpɜːʧəs ˈædvətaɪzɪŋ speɪs 
ˈsəʊʃəl ˈmiːdiə 
ˈpɒlɪtɪks
ɪksˈtɛndɪd 
ˈbrɔːdli 
ˈkɔːpərɪt wɜːld 
ˈtɑːgɪt ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəlz səˈsɛptəbl tuː əˈdɪktɪv bɪˈheɪvjəz 
ˈmɑːkɪtɪŋ ʌnˈhɛlθi fuːdz
ˈkwɛsʧənəbl ˌfɑːməˈsjuːtɪkəlz
trɪˈmɛndəs ˈɪmpækt 
ˈfɛdərəl ˈgʌvnmənts 
rɪsˈpɒnsəbl 
ˌlɛʤɪsˈleɪʃən
ɪf stɛps ɑː nɒt ˈteɪkən
ɪˈrɛpərəbl hɑːm 

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:

A___________g is becoming i_______________________e and this has led some to q___________n its i_____________e on the a_____________________n. In my opinion, advertisements are i______________________e and most consumers could be b_________________d if g______________________s were s__________r.

P_________________s are g______________________d, c________________y and u_________________y, by advertising. The b__________________e for the e_________________s of advertising does not come from s___________________s but the c_______________________t of p_____________________s. Corporations have become more e__________t and c______r in their use of advertising and this is c______________________d in the g__________h of companies such as Facebook and Google which g___________e the m__________y of r__________e from m_____________g. A___________s are now able to t_____________________________________e and t_____________s to v________________________s. Often these commercials and posts do not c_________l an i____________________e, h__________r, they l_________________________y in u____________s and c__________________________________s.

Such p____________e advertising can be c_________d only through l____s. Individuals themselves often do not understand the t________t or they l____k the w____________r to s__________f the internet, where most advertising now o_________s. L_____________s, i______________t, have the ability to e______________________________n certain kinds of advertisements and p___________________________e. For example, after United States e___________s in 2016, the government i_______________d and p________________________n to l_____t how f_________________s are able to p_________________________e on s_____________a to influence p___________s. Some of these laws should be e__________d more b__________y to the c___________________d so that, for instance, companies cannot t________________________________________________________s by m__________________________s, videogames, and q__________________________s.

In conclusion, the amount of investment in the advertising industry clearly shows the t_______________________t of marketing and f______________________s are r____________e for l_______________n. I_______________________________n, advertising may do i_______________________m to society in the future.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching videos from The New York Times YouTube channel below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

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

https://adage.com/article/news/behind-scenes-new-york-times-truth-campaign-tuesday-wake-call/2317926

Speaking Practice

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

Buying

  1. Which item do you buy the most?
  2. Do you care about the price when buying an item?
  3. What was the last thing you bought?
  4. Are good products always expensive?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic 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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