Sufficient money to fund a small kingdom is invested in advertising by all and any means. Advertising is omnipresent and unless you head off to the deep woods you are surrounded by it at every turn. No space can remain blank when it could be used to promote the sale of some product or service. Changing styles and venues there may be but the goal is the same: to persuade the consumer to try or at least consider the purchase.
There's no doubt some ads are clever, amusing even. I've laughed at some . . . the first time through. After thirty or forty viewings the humorous becomes annoying. With some advertisements it seems obvious how they are trying to pull at our heartstrings, associating small children and puppies with their product. I suppose it is an improvement from the past when curvaceous women in bikinis were draped across the latest model car. If you want a look at offensive advertising from the past just google offensive advertising from the past.
There appears to be little if any connection between the department/company that prepares and executes the advertising campaign that the company that provides the product/service. Promises are not fulfilled, misrepresentations are rife. Particularly when a large one-time purchase is involved or a contract is being signed that will commit you to ongoing payments with no relief. I have formed the impression that considerably more effort is put into cajoling the customer the first time around than is ever expended keeping the one who is already in thrall. Car purchases, time shares, mortgages and packaged vacations come to mind as items that can leave you stuck when all is not as promised.
On-line reviews are a small prevention/recourse for consumers. They are susceptible to fake reviews from competitors or trolls in general but when dozens of reviews repeat similar complaints I take heed. I don't think I would stay in a hotel or make a large purchase without diligently checking reviews. I do find often that you get what you pay for. We're all looking for the deal; champagne on a beer budget. It happens just often enough for us to keep trying.