Advertising Aimed At Children Essay

2302 words - 9 pages

Producing a 30 seconds commercial can cost more than filming a whole season of a television show today. Advertisers and marketers put in immense amount of work to create the most appealing advertisement to attract their viewers. Young audiences are a popular choice for advertisers to target because they are easy to persuade, as a result they can bring big profit to the companies. Children are exposed to on average 40,000 ads annually (Gunter, p2), and it has become a concerning problem for parents and experts. While the government put out regulations and protection acts as safeguards, it seems to have little effects on the advertisers. Marketers and advertisers utilize techniques that have a tendency to mislead and influence children into buying their products. These advertisements are having negative effects on children’s health, making them more materialistic and on occasions, prompting them to use violence to get what they want. These issues are raising concerns for parents, who want to put a stop in television advertisements. Yet, restricting television advertisements is a form of censorship, thus contradicting the First Amendment of the constitution. Hence, our government regulations on ads aimed at children need to be reassessed to better protect younger audiences from today's highly commercialized society.

Advertising “refers to a system of communication through which goods and services are brought to the attention of the public.” (Johnston, p.57). Advertisement are no longer just about promoting a product, they now exist to advertise lifestyles. In today’s competitive society, marketers and advertisers always want to be one step ahead of their competitors; and sometimes it can result in misconduct.The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) developed a set of guidelines that every commercial broadcasted for children must follow; Calvert explains three fundamental principles. First, there must be a definite separation between the program and the advertisements. Henceforth, a production convention, for example "After these messages, we'll be right back" is necessary (p.223). Second, "host selling” is forbidden, this is when the characters of an airing show cannot appear in any commercials during the time slot the show is on (p. 223). Lastly, similar to the second guideline, products being commercialized cannot appear on the airing show (p.223). The FCC also explicitly told broadcasters to limit the amount of commercial time aired during children’s television programs to “10.5 minutes per hour or less on weekends and 12 minutes per hour or less on weekdays” (Ramsey, p363). These rules are set to act as safeguard to protect and help children from being misled by malicious ads; yet, it seems that children today are being manipulated more than ever by advertisements.

According to Statistics Canada, "in 2004, 26% of children and adolescents aged 2 to 17 were overweight or obese based on the body mass index." While there are many...

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