IELTS Writing Task 2: Successful companies use advertising to make more sales. What can make an advertisement very effective? Do you think this is a bad thing or a good thing for society?

The Power of Persuasion: Effectiveness and Ethics in Advertising

In the fiercely competitive business landscape, successful companies harness the art of advertising to bolster their sales and influence consumer choices. The effectiveness of an advertisement hinges on several key factors. Firstly, a compelling narrative that resonates with the audience is paramount. Advertisements that tell a story, evoke emotions, or address a genuine need captivate viewers, leaving a lasting impression. Secondly, creativity plays a pivotal role. Innovative and visually appealing advertisements capture attention, standing out amidst the constant influx of media messages. Utilizing humor, relatability, or striking visuals creates a memorable brand image.

Moreover, the alignment of the advertisement with the values and aspirations of the target audience is crucial. Understanding the demographic, cultural nuances, and socio-economic background of the consumers allows advertisers to tailor their message effectively. Additionally, the omnipresence of social media amplifies the impact of advertisements. Engaging and shareable content has the potential to go viral, reaching a vast audience at an unprecedented speed.

The ethical implications of advertising, however, spark intense debate. Critics argue that manipulative or misleading advertisements can exploit vulnerable consumers, fostering materialism and discontent. On the contrary, proponents contend that advertising serves as an engine of economic growth, driving innovation and competition. When ethical standards are upheld, advertisements can inform consumers, raise awareness about products, and stimulate healthy market dynamics.

In my perspective, the effectiveness of advertising is a double-edged sword. Ethical, informative, and creative advertisements can empower consumers, enabling them to make informed choices. However, when advertising resorts to manipulation or falsehoods, it can erode trust and breed societal discontent. Thus, a balanced approach, where creativity and innovation are channeled ethically, can harness the power of advertising for societal good, fostering informed consumerism while upholding integrity and truthfulness.


Arranging your time effectively during the IELTS Writing Task 2 is crucial to ensure you can plan, write, and revise your essay within the allotted 40 minutes. Here’s a suggested time breakdown to help you manage your time efficiently:

1. Understand the Question (5 minutes):

  • Read the essay question carefully and underline key points.
  • Identify the topic, the specific question, and what is expected from your response.
  • Spend a few minutes brainstorming ideas and organizing your thoughts. Create a rough outline of your essay, including the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

2. Plan Your Essay (5 minutes):

  • Create a clear thesis statement in response to the question. Your thesis should outline your main argument or perspective.
  • Plan your body paragraphs. Decide on 2-3 main points or arguments that support your thesis. Each point should be discussed in a separate paragraph.
  • Think about examples, reasons, or evidence you can use to support each of your main points.

3. Write Your Essay (25 minutes):

  • Start with an engaging introduction that introduces the topic, presents your thesis statement, and outlines the main points you will discuss.
  • Write your body paragraphs. Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that introduces the main point, followed by supporting details or examples. Make sure to explain your points clearly and provide relevant examples.
  • Aim for clear, concise language. Avoid overly complex sentences that may lead to confusion.
  • Ensure your essay has a logical flow. Use transition words (e.g., furthermore, moreover, however) to connect your ideas and paragraphs.
  • Leave a few minutes at the end to write a concluding paragraph that summarizes your main points and restates your thesis in a different way.

4. Revise and Proofread (5 minutes):

  • Review your essay for grammar, vocabulary, and spelling errors. Correct any mistakes you find.
  • Check the overall coherence and cohesion of your essay. Ensure your ideas are well-organized and linked together logically.
  • Verify that you have addressed all parts of the essay question and that your response is relevant and on-topic.
  • If time allows, make minor revisions for clarity and coherence.

Important Tips:

  • Practice Time Management: Practice writing essays under timed conditions to improve your ability to manage time effectively.
  • Stay Focused: Stick to the topic and avoid going off on tangents, which can waste precious time.
  • Plan Your Word Count: Aim for around 250-300 words. Writing significantly fewer or more words may affect your score.
  • Practice Regularly: Regular practice will help you become more comfortable with the time constraints and improve your writing skills.

By following this structured approach and practicing regularly, you can enhance your time management skills and write a well-organized, coherent, and concise essay during the IELTS Writing Task 2.

About the Author

Eleanor Mitchell

I'm Eleanor Mitchell, and I've been fortunate to teach English for a little over 20 years now, which has deeply enriched my teaching.

My aim is simple: to make English more understandable and to nurture better communication. I always strive to learn from my students, adapting my methods to suit your preferences.

Let's learn and explore language together—I'm excited to embark on this journey with you.

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