Perhaps “society” is the wrong “person” to blame for the effects of advertising on people. For the most part, I believe that it is the result of the individual’s self-control that causes downfalls such as eating disorders and gambling addictions, but one must remember that these are like diseases in many ways. The ‘user’ feels helpless to stop once they have started and at that point, perhaps they need someone else to step in take part of the responsibility from them until they have learned to control their problem. A lot of the times, these things get out of hand not because of the constant advertising, but because of the inability of the person to admit there is a problem. It is not the responsibility of the company to change their advertisements because someone believes this caused their problem. The point of advertising is to create a need for people to buy their product. As a consumer, a person should be able to discern what is good for them and what is a need, versus what is a want that could in the long run do damage to their mental and or physical being. In this manner, I do not think “society” should be blamed for the effects, they are only PART of the cause. The other part of the cause is the weakness of the person, and in this manner they should seek help for these weaknesses instead of seeking to exploit the companies because of personal downfalls.
I agree that there are many temptations in the media, but there are temptations everywhere, not just media advertising, but store advertising and visual perseptions. The media will not tell you not to buy it simply because that would be the opposite of what they want. It is up to the consumer to put a limit on the things they buy. Just because I like McDonalds French Fries doesn't mean I need to SuperSize them and eat the whole box when I'm not that hungry. No one can tell you your limits, you must discern them for yourself.