IELTS Level 1 - Unit 5 Speaking Writing

Topic-based vocabulary – Advertising

Advertising is a common theme in both the speaking and writing tests, so having the ideas, opinions and language to deal with these questions is important. Below is a list of pros and cons, opinions, topic-based vocabulary and Part 1-3 questions to help you master this subject.


1. Advertising is a key part of modern business
2. Companies need to tell customers about their products
3. Advertisements inform us about the choices we have
4. Advertising is a creative industry that employs many people
5. Without advertising we would have less choice
6. Without advertising there would be higher unemployment
7. Advertising is a form of modern art
8. People enjoy adverts


1. Advertising manipulates people
2. It aims to persuade people that buying a product will make them happier
3. They use glamorous, successful people
4. We now live in a consumer culture
5. We are persuaded to follow the latest trend
6. We are encouraged to associate certain brands with a higher status
7. Advertisers often aim their marketing at children
8. Children can easily be influenced by advertisements.
9. Children put pressure on parents to buy them things
10. Advertisers focus on selling a brand image

Opinions about Advertising:

1. Advertising should be regulated
2. Advertising aimed at children should be controlled or even banned
3. Unhealthy foods should not be marketed in a way that attracts children Products that can be risk to healthy should display warnings
4. In some countries it is illegal to advertise cigarettes on television
5. Warnings must be displayed on cigarette packets
6. However, advertising is necessary in free market economies
7. It creates demand for products
8. Governments should only censor false information or products that are harmful


• advertising agency: a company that creates adverts for other companies
• advertising budget: the amount of money a company decides to spend on advertising
• brand awareness: how well people know a particular brand
• brand loyalty: the degree to which people continue to buy from the same brand or company
• buy and sell: often used to refer to the buying and selling of items between individuals
• call to action: something that encourages someone to take a particular action, such as making a purchase or clicking a link on a website
• celebrity endorsement: to have a well-known person promote a product
• classified ads: small advertisements often put in a newspaper or magazine by individuals
• to cold call: to call someone with the aim of selling something without them asking you to do so
• commercial break: the short period during TV programmes when advertisements are shown
• commercial channel: TV channels that make money from showing advertisements
• to go viral: to quickly become extremely popular on the Internet through social media
• junk mail: unwanted promotional leaflets and letters
• to launch a product: to introduce a new product
• mailing list: a list of names and contact details used by a company to send information and advertisements
• mass media: large media outlets like TV, newspapers and magazines
• niche product: a product that is aimed at a distinct group of people
• to place an advert: to put an advert somewhere
• press release: something written by a company for newspapers and magazines and websites to share and publish
• prime time: the time during the viewing schedule when most people watch TV or listen to a broadcast
• product placement: to advertise a product by using it as a prop in a TV show or film
• sales page: a page specifically used to promote a product or service
• to show adverts: to display adverts on TV
• social media: websites that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
• spam email: unwanted, promotional email
• target audience: the people a company want to sell their product or service to
• word of mouth: recommendations made by individuals to other individuals about a product of service

Speaking test:

Part 1:

1. Are there any TV channels in your country that don’t have adverts?
2. Do you enjoy watching adverts on TV?
3. What are the best ways for ordinary people to advertise something they want to sell in your country?

Part 2:

Describe an advert you once saw that was very effective. You should say:

• where this advert appeared
• when you saw it
• what it was advertising

and say why you thought it was so effective.

Part 3:

1. What is it that makes an advert effective?
2. What are the advantages to companies of advertising on the Internet rather than TV?
3. What things do advertising companies do that might give it a bad name?
4. What kinds of advertising can you find in your everyday life?
5. Do you think that there is too much advertising in our lives?
6. Do you think that certain products are better advertised in particular ways?
7. Many people find advertising informative. Others claim it just creates demand for unnecessary products and services. What do you think?
8. What controls should there be on advertising?

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