By Bader Al Kiyumi -
Information and communication technologies have invaded the world with their advancements. And in today’ world the impact these advancements are manifold. Media is one such example, which is playing an important role in every sphere of life. And its impact on relation between customer and trader can be easily noticed.
The role of present day media is so vast that it is affecting the contemporary world and becoming an expression of the masses in many forms.
With the emergence of electronic and social media in the late 1990s, the printed press finds itself in a mediator role and is likely to be a substitute for the paper because a lot of publishers find the Internet a good place and proper environment to publish their writings.
Since more than a century ago, the consumer protection movement began as a result of injustice and abuse which was exercised by producers and traders and their agents against consumers in the market away from social values and ethics.
Hence, the idea of consumer protection movement expanded. In developed societies, because of pressure from consumers on their governments to intervene and enforce laws to protect them from industrialists and merchants, so it can be argued historically that the first consumer protection act passed in the United States in 1873.
Then, a lot of countries continue issues laws, rules and instructions to protect the consumer. Some instructions also aims to develop consumers knowledge including selection, compensation and listen to their opinion. Today, consumer protection associations and their rights require massive efforts because of the indifference and circumvent which play by the companies and merchants.
Moreover, associations entered into a conflict with the publicity and advertising facilities. Since these facilities play an important role to define and introduce new products and their advantages to the customers, but sometimes it practice a mislead to consumers who are going to buy a certain goods but may not have the same specifications which published in the advertising.
Sometimes, this propaganda is caused to health or economic problems because it leads to waste of financial resources, but on the other hand, it makes a good profit for producers and marketers. The state is among those who are responsible of protecting consumers from all damage and loose, through its legislated and regulatory.
Mass media can play a significant role in consumer’s education and awareness. They can aware public about the shoddy goods, advice them on how to choose the goods with quality and appropriate prices through the close relationship between the media and advertising. This awareness comes through the media, both by advertising and through news stories about products or services.
The first choice for most of the companies to promote new product is the mass media. Those companies spend a lot of money to promote their products while advertising income is considered the main sources for most of the media establishments.
To conclude, media principals and ethics require editors to use that power wisely and publish only stories which can be verified as honest because consumers depend more upon the media for awareness.