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Should TV ads for unhealthy products be allowed?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
July 3, 2012
11:26 am
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Should advertising for unhealthy products be banned on TV?


Whether we should ban on advertising unhealthy products on televisions is a matter of no inconsiderable concern. In this writer’s opinion , despite some limited objections in this policy, it will bring far more good than harm.

It is of tremendous importance to understand unhealthy products such as tobacco , cigarette , liquor  or fast food … seriously do harm to people’s health. As a result a ban on these products’ advertisements is one of the best ways by which we can made unhealthy products  become less popular among people . There will be a lower number of people wasting their money on products killing their lives .This policy leads to better societies , where there are healthier people not suffering from diseases because of using unhealthy products .

Moreover, these advertisements badly influence youngsters. Due to the fact that people at that ages are very curious  , they will demand products  after watching its’ colorful advertisements even though these products are addictive such as tobacco or wine… . Just as youngsters are not old enough to know what is bad for their health, so too are they endangered when they are watching bad products’ advertisements. As we can see, it is more needs to be done to promote a ban on these advertisements as it will deter our children from being affected by them.

There is ,however another perspective namely that this policy will affect the freedom of business . People can sale and advertise any legal products if they want . Furthermore, there is no case to be made that watching some unhealthy products ‘ advertisements can make people want to use them or affect their health . One more reason for people , who don’t advocate this policy is that unhealthy products manufacture creates many jobs for many people and bring in a huge amount of tax for governments . Banning this multi-billion industry from advertising its ‘ products will seriously affect it.

To recapitulate, Although there are some limitations in this policy , it is much to talk about its benefits. 

July 3, 2012
1:15 pm
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Comments:

1.Whether we should ban on advertising unhealthy products on televisions is a matter of no inconsiderable concern.

(1.ban . if you consider "ban" as a verb, i dont think you need "on". if you use it as noun, there should be "a" before it

2.is a matter of no inconsiderable concern.....hmmmm...i dont think so ...scrap the hackneyed phrase.

 

)

2. In this writer’s opinion , despite some limited objections in this policy(??), it will bring far more good than harm.

(it just makes me wonder who is the writer.....if you wrote this essay, why didnt you put your name on it?)

3.It is of tremendous importance to understand unhealthy products such as tobacco , cigarette , liquor  or fast food … (......?   remove it)seriously do harm to people’s health

(It is of tremendous importance to ?  it? what are you referring to ?  is of tremendous importance to , why dont you write it like it is tremendously important)

4.As a result, a ban on these products’ advertisements is one of the best ways by which we can made(make) unhealthy products  become less popular among people

(make unhealthy produces become less "popular"???  ban->less popular?)

5.There will be a lower number of people wasting their money on products killing their lives (killing???  ok....well,, i will ban myself for eating McDonald from now onwards and dont wanna end up killing myself.. )

6.This policy(where is the policy?) leads to better societies , where there are healthier people not suffering from diseases because of using unhealthy products .      

(i would try if my determination to abstain from unhealthy products can make a better society.....i guess "healthier" society is betteR? )

7.Moreover, these advertisements badly influence youngsters

(you start a new paragraph ,  do not use "these" in the beginning of the paragraph. )

8.Due to the fact that people at that (those or that age)ages are very curious  , they will demand products  after watching its’ colorful advertisements even though these products are addictive such as tobacco or wine… .(same problem...dont use ........and shorten your sentence)

9.Just as youngsters are not old enough to know what is bad for their health, so too are they endangered when they are watching bad products’ advertisements. (i dont get what you mean. even after watching BAD products ads, i dont think they will be in danger....)

10. As we can see, it is more needs to be done to promote a ban on these advertisements as it will deter our children from being affected by them. (are they referring to the same thing?)

 11.There is ,however, another perspective namely that this policy will affect the freedom of business . People can sale sell and advertise any legal products if they want

12.Furthermore, there is no case to be made(no point of using passive ehre) that watching some unhealthy products ‘ advertisements can make people want to use them or affect their health ???????(unclear.....affect their health?)

13.One more reason for people , who don’t advocate this policy(there you go..) is that unhealthy products manufacture creates many jobs for many people and bring in a huge amount of tax for governments . Banning this multi-billion industry from advertising its ‘ products will seriously affect it.

( I AM OFFICIALLY BATTLED ......)

 

In summary , you need to restructure your essay ,clarify your ideas and formalize your writing.

July 3, 2012
3:05 pm
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first , is a matter of no inconsiderable concern , means this matter is concerned alot , but just a different way of telling that, you will get a higher rate in ielts task from examiners by using this . 

second, in this writer's opinion , that's the way every one use in ielts task 2 to refer to in my opinion , it is a more polite way . 

third It is of tremendous importance , ? what's wrong with this man ?  that means its is very important to understand ? . 

Moreover , if we ban advertisements of unhealthy products on tv , they will become less popular because no one see them on tv , what 's wrong 

thanks for telling me to not use .... i dont know about it 

just as , so too , a structure in english 

July 4, 2012
6:34 pm
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Hi Nhattrungluu and welcome to Writefix!

Nhattrungluu, have a look around the site and you will see the same theme coming up again and again: it’s time to let go of those crutches and tired old phases.

It is incorrect to say that including phrases like “a matter of no inconsiderable concern” or “It is of tremendous importance" will by themselves get you a higher mark.

Far from it.

Instead of relying on myths and the half-baked ideas of uninformed commentators, let’s have a look at the official descriptors for IELTS Task 2 Writing (public version) here.

Under Lexical Resource, a candidate at Band 7 uses “less common lexical items.” Fine! "A matter of no inconsiderable concern” is a less common lexical item (unless 1.5 million IELTS students add it to their essays to get higher marks).

But let’s look at the next part: “…with some awareness of style and collocation.”

We now have a problem. An ‘awareness of style means that you choose the right style for the occasion. You don’t use informal words like ‘dude’ or ‘guy’, but equally you don’t need to use extremely formal words like ‘recapitulate’ or ‘of tremendous importance’  or ‘limited objections to this policy.’ These words are suitable for long formal reports or editorials in the Times of India, but are overkill in a short IELTS essay.

Task 2 Writing task is supposed to be a short 250-300 opinion or argument essay (not 345-word, as in this case), with examples from your own knowledge and experience.  It’s not a term paper, a United Nations treaty, or a debate by Oxford academics.

And the word ‘collocation’ means the unusual or low-frequency words are used properly with other words -  located correctly together.

There is no point in using words or phrases like ‘recapitulate’ or ‘no inconsiderable concern’ or ‘there is no case to be made’ when the same or adjoining sentences have basic errors in agreement, in punctuation and pronoun reference -  or even vocabulary choice. 

So even if adding some unusual or complicated phrases moved you up a band for vocabulary, you can still be dragged down by grammar, task response and coherence.

So my advice is write using your own fresh, simple English, and avoid using the tired old phrases you can find here or here.

Other errors

I will try to post later regarding specific errors in the essay.

Can I just ask that before you post your next essay you run it through one or both of the two readability links at the top of this page -  this one at read-able.com, or this one at online-utility.org. Shorten sentences longer than 20 words. Aim for an average of 12-15 words.

  • In Microsoft Word, check for punctuation. Leave one space AFTER each comma or full stop, and nothing before it. Add 'and' or 'or' between the last two items in an list.
  • "It's" means "it is" - it's raining, it's late, it's really annoying, or even It's a matter of considerable importance.
     
  • "Its" means possessive, belonging to something - Gold is valued for its rarity or My phone is not working because its battery is dead

Finally...

It would be great if you could look at some essays by other users and make some comments. Look for recent essays with only 1 or 2 posts, make some comments, and help other people to get great scores!

July 6, 2012
5:02 pm
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Hi Nhattrungluu

Sorry for not being able to get back to you yesterday. Here are a few comments. Well, more than a few!

Warning - long post ahead!

Word Choice/Word Form/Usage

  • we should ban on advertising unhealthy products → we should ban advertising unhealthy products
  • on televisions → on television
  • limited objections in this policy → objections to this policy

Shorten/Simplify

You wrote:

It is of tremendous importance to understand unhealthy products such as tobacco , cigarette , liquor  or fast food seriously do harm to people’s health. (26 words)

Simplify. Use ‘that’ after ‘understand.’ Join the last two items in a list with ‘and.’ Remove the repetition of tobacco and cigarettes

It’s important to understand that unhealthy products such as tobacco, liquor and fast food do serious harm to people’s health. (20 words)

You wrote:

As a result a ban on these products’ advertisements is one of the best ways by which we can made unhealthy products  become less popular among people .(28 words)

Let’s delete the weak link ‘as a result.’ Let’s remove unnecessary words. Here’s one possible rewrite:

Banning advertisements for these products is one way to reduce demand. (11 words) OR

A ban on the advertising of these products is an effective way to reduce demand. (15 words)

You wrote:

There will be a lower number of people wasting their money on products killing their lives .This policy leads to better societies , where there are healthier people not suffering from diseases because of using unhealthy products .(38 words)

Nhattrungluu, don’t write any sentences over 25 words. Your average should be between 12 and 15. Have a few long sentences, say 20 -25 words or so, but a few very short ones as well

Here’s one possible rewrite with the ambiguous ‘this policy’ removed:

Fewer people would waste money on unhealthy products, and a ban on advertising these goods would lead to better diets and a healthier society. (23 words)

You wrote:

As we can see, it is more needs to be done to promote a ban on these advertisements as it will deter our children from being affected by them. (29 words)

Here’s one possible rewrite for the error in word choice ‘deter’

As we can see, a ban on these advertisements will help prevent our children from being affected by them. (15 words)

You wrote:

One more reason for people , who don’t advocate this policy is that unhealthy products manufacture creates many jobs for many people and bring in a huge amount of tax for governments . (33 words)

Here’s one possible rewrite:

Another reason against such a ban is that these products provide thousands of jobs and bring in millions in revenue for governments. (22 words)

Punctuation

Punctuation is important in IELTS. If you good writing ability and vocabulary, you don’t want to lose marks because of simple punctuation errors. Have a look at the official descriptors for IELTS Task 2 Writing (public version) here, under Grammar and Accuracy.

In Band 4, punctuation is ‘often faulty; in Band 5, it can be ‘faulty; and in Band 6, the writer can have ‘some errors in grammar and punctuation’ as long as they ‘do not impede communication.’ Band 7 allows only ‘a few errors’ in grammar and punctuation.

Punctuation is the easiest thing to fix, so you can tidy up this area very quickly.

You wrote:

Due to the fact that people at that ages are very curious  , they will demand products  after watching its’ colorful advertisements even though these products are addictive such as tobacco or wine… .

Just use sentences. There’s no need to dots to show that your ideas are hanging on or trailing off. See here for more: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/ellipsis.aspx.

Add one space AFTER each comma and full stop. There is no space before a comma or full stop. This is not the same in every language, but it’s a convention in English. If you run your essay through Microsoft Word, it will show punctuation errors.  Click here for more about checking your work in Word: http://writefix.com/?page_id=3544

Another point here about supporting ideas and coherence/cohesion is that children probably don’t know that wine or cigarettes are addictive. Your idea is not well supported: Most beer companies or cigarette manufacturers don’t target children directly in their ads, although I suppose it’s always good to be vigilant in case Pampers and Johnny Walker decide to cut costs and cooperate.

Children are very curious and may demand products after watching colorful or attractive advertisements. (12 words). Manufacturers of sweets, soft drinks and fast foods know this well and target children specifically in their advertising.

You wrote

There is ,however another perspective namely that this policy will affect the freedom of business .

There are five punctuation errors in the sentence above. Have a look here to see how ‘namely’ can be used: http://www.learnersdictionary.com/blog.php?action=ViewBlogArticle&ba_id=160 or http://www.wvup.edu/jcc/pam/semicolons.htm

  • There is, however, another perspective – namely, that this policy will affect the freedom of business. OR
  • There is, however, another perspective; namely, that this policy will affect the freedom of business.

I would suggest using simpler structures and getting them right.

Structure/Word Choice

You wrote:

Just as youngsters are not old enough to know what is bad for their health, so too are they endangered when they are watching bad products’ advertisements.

It’s a nice structure and you’ve used it correctly. Well done! But the sentence is spoiled by the very weak word choice of ‘bad’ products.

Here’s one possible rewrite

Most children do not know what is good for their health, and they certainly can’t distinguish between ads for healthy and unhealthy products

Topic Sentence

The topic or central idea of your Paragraph Two is that banning ads will reduce lead to a healthier society. Your topic sentence (the first sentence in your paragraph) should say this.

A ban on advertising would lead to a healthier society.

It’s a short, simple sentence which summarizes the paragraph. You can still use your current first sentence, but just move it further into the paragraph.

Tense

In your introduction, you use ‘should’ and ‘will.’ In paragraph two you use ‘can’ and ‘will.’  Try to be consistent. The idea of banning unhealthy advertising here is a hypothetical or imaginary idea, so it’s probably better to use ‘would’ or ‘should’ and conditionals (‘If a ban is/were introduced, it would…’).

Coherence and Cohesion

You wrote:

There is ,however another perspective namely that this policy will affect the freedom of business . People can sale and advertise any legal products if they want .

To improve the link between these two sentences, you need a phrase like ‘at present’ or ‘currently.’ Here’s one possible rewrite:

There is, however, another perspective; namely, that this policy will affect the freedom of business. At present, people can advertise and sell any legal product [they want]. However…

(But is this true? Most countries have very tough regulations on the advertising of cigarettes, but it is still legal to sell them in most jurisdictions.)

Specify: Make Every Sentence Relevant to the Question

Try to make every sentence relevant to the topic. Avoid sentences which could be used in a million essays. You wrote:

In this writer’s opinion , despite some limited objections in this policy, it will bring far more good than harm.

Here’s one possible rewrite:

Despite possible objections over free markets and freedom of choice, I believe a ban on advertising healthy food would lead to a healthier society.

You wrote another sentence that could be used in a million essays, if it was correct:

To recapitulate, Although there are some limitations in this policy , it is much to talk about its benefits. 

Here’s one possible rewrite:

In conclusion, despite opposition from manufacturers and a possible loss in revenue for governments, there would be huge benefits from a healthier society and a better diet.

Your conclusion should summarize the points you made in your essay. You have made a lot of points -  now is the time to summarize them. You can read more about conclusions here.

July 9, 2012
9:25 am
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In many countries laws forbid advertisements for smoking on TV. Some people propose extending this measure on other harmful products like alcohol or fast food. A ban might be an effective way to protect people‘s health but may conflict with other interests.

Supporters of allowing commercials for unhealthy foods want to limit the government‘s influence on consumer‘s choices. In their view individuals should have the freedom to make their own choices whether to buy a product. Also, businesses should be free to trade these products within the legal restrictions. It is argued that more government regulations would hurt some businesses and patronize consumers. In fact, it is rather hard to explain why something that is considered addictive or highly unhealthy can be sold but advertisements featuring it should be restricted.

Opponents of showing advertisements on TV can refer to convincing reasons for their position. Banning smoking ads and making it less socially acceptable to smoke seems to have been more effective against smoking than health education. In particular, the hope is that these measure can help to protect teenagers and children from developing unhealthy habits in first place. If young people see less pictures of people drinking or smoking on TV they are also less likely to assume it is normal behaviour. Lastly, the government has to deal with the consequenence of the consume of harmful products on people‘s health. Their impact on health care cost can be significant. Therefore,  far-reaching preventative measures, like a ban on commercials, are fully justify.

In conclusion, there are convincing arguments for allowing commercials even for unhealthy products. On the other hand, their ban would likely have desirable effects on lowering the consumption of products that affect health negatively.

July 9, 2012
11:51 am
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Hi Katiss

Thanks for this. As usual, a clear and well-developed essay.

Layout

Your thesis sentence helps the reader to predict what is coming. You wrote:  

A ban might be an effective way to protect people‘s health but may conflict with other interests.

The first part of your sentence tells the reader that there will be a paragraph about the benefits of a ban and the second part suggests that you will discuss some problems with such a ban.  

However, you have changed this order in the body - would it be more effective if you changed the order of the paragraphs?  And could the topic sentence in Paragraph Two be shorter?  You wrote:

Supporters of allowing commercials for unhealthy foods want to limit the government‘s influence on consumer‘s choices.

Here’s one possible rewrite in two sentences:

Many people object to government control over consumer choice. They oppose any restrictions on the advertising of food.   OR

Many people oppose restrictions on food advertising and reject interference with consumer choice.

It's cheating I know to have two topic sentences - if you join the two sentences above with 'and', the new sentence will be longer than your version! But basically the function of the topic sentence is to make the topic or central idea of the paragraph as clear as possible, so the fewer words the better

Word Choice/Word Form/Usage

  • Some people propose extending this measure on other harmful products → …extending this measure to other harmful products
      
  • These measure can help to protect teenagers and children from developing unhealthy habits in first place → these measures can help to protect teenagers and children from developing unhealthy habits in the first place
      
  • If young people see less pictures →  If young people see fewer pictures
     
  • the government has to deal with the consequence of the consume of harmful products on people‘s health → The government has to deal with the consequences of the consumption of harmful products on people‘s health
     
  • measures, like a ban on commercials, are fully justify. → measures such as a ban on commercials are fully justified.  (The commas here are unnecessary -  the ban is the main topic of the essay, so it’s important. )
July 10, 2012
8:29 am
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Thanks for the comments.

Actually, when i use the readability tool i do not see the color bars shown in your post

http://writefix.com/?page_id=2722/about-this-forum/ielts-topic-%EF%BC%9Aadvertising-encourage-people-to-buy-in-quantity-rather-than-promoting-its-quality-to-what-extent-do-you-agree-or-disagree%EF%BC%9F

am i missing somehting? Incorrect tool?

Numbers like this dont tell me much... What should tehy be?

Gunning Fog index : 18.24
Coleman Liau index : 19.16
Flesch Kincaid Grade level : 15.07

July 10, 2012
10:17 am
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Hi Katiss

I think you were using the readability tool at online-utility.org, while I was using the one with the pretty color bars at http://www.read-able.com.

Both are very useful, and so is Microsoft Word's built-in readability analysis. If you don't know how to turn it on, just read here: How to check your work in Microsoft Word.

What do the indexes mean?

All these readability indexes have to be used carefully. The most useful numbers are

  • word count
  • sentence count
  • paragraph count
  • number of passives
  • number of 'complex' words  (sometimes just 'long' words or words with three or more syllables)

Most of the readability indexes (Coleman-Liau,Flesch Kincaid, Gunning Fog, etc -  there are many)  do not 'read' your essay -  they don't understand English. All they do is a calculation based on the number of words, sentences, or word length. 

Many of them give a number which is the years of school needed for a native speaker of English in the US to 'understand' your essay -  a grade level of 12 means that a person should have completed secondary school or high school to be able to 'read' your essay.  For these, for our purposes here with IELTS essays, the lower - the simpler, the easier - the better!

One of them, the Flesch readability index (different from the Flesch-Kincaid index!), is different -  it just gives a percentage -  the higher the better.  You can find out more about these indexes here. http://writefix.com/?page_id=270

The readability indexes are like a thermometer which just gives you a number. It can be in Centigrade or Fahrenheit, but it's just a number. A nurse can use a thermometer take your temperature, but a high or low number doesn't say what's wrong with the person, and a readability index doesn't always say what's wrong with the essay. Both thermometers and readability indexes can be fooled.

So use them cautiously!

Readability Indexes are Useful

In my experience, they are reasonably accurate and helpful. If someone is using too many long sentences, or not enough paragraphs, or too many passives, or too many complicated words, the indexes will show me quickly. By adding a few full stops, removing commas, adding a couple of short sentences, removing passives, and simplifying vocabulary (e.g. using the 3-syllable word 'conclusion' instead of the five-syllable word 'recapitulate') most people's essays will be shorter, simpler, easier to read  -  and get a higher score in IELTS.

Really!

Here's your essay about TV ads for unhealthy food from read-able.com. If you go there and copy-and-paste your essay, you will see the explanation for different readability indexes as well.  Your essay is nice and consistent.

Experiment by breaking up some of the longer sentences, adding some short ones and see if you get some green bars!

Katiss_tv_ads.pngImage Enlarger

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July 10, 2012
10:22 am
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Hi Katiss

Frank Sinatra

I suggested playing with the readability index at read-able.com and seeing how to get those nice green bars. Here's an example.

I took your essay above and shortened a few long words (e.g. 'ads' instead of 'advertisements' and 'huge' instead of 'significant'). 

I then added some words from Frank Sinatra's 'Fly me to the Moon':

katiss_frank_sinatra.pngImage Enlarger

Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On a-Jupiter and Mars
In other words, hold my hand
In other words, baby, kiss me

Fill my heart with song
And let me sing for ever more
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore
In other words, please be true
In other words, I love you

Here's your new essay!  Lots of beautiful green bars showing that your essay not only sounds better when sung by Frank Sinatra, but is easier to read as well!

 

(Of course, it's now meaningless!

Writefix DOES NOT recommend adding Frank Sinatra, Lady Gaga or any lyrics to your essays in the IELTS exam!)

Download a PDF with revised 'Sinatraized' version here. (Right-click, save to your computer).

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