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Advertising Immorality Essay

1086 words - 4 pages

Conor Sampson
Professor Potratz
English 100
6 April 2012
Advertising Immorality
With effective advertising, companies have a substantial influence over children. By
using a fun cartoon character to advertise their cigarettes, Camel proved that the right tactics can
even cause children to pursue tobacco. Considering how businesses thrive off future generations,
their advertising targets under-developed adolescents. Joe Camel showed that advertisements do
contribute to changes in behavior; unfortunately, such advertisements often instill immoral
messages. Every day children are exposed to numerous advertisements whether they are on the
Internet or watching the television, kids' behavior is - to a certain extent - influenced by the
content of the these displays. Advertisements that businesses develop contribute to immoral
behavior that is present in America's youth.
The foundational change - caused by advertisements - in the behavior of children has
been the progress towards a youth culture in which children grant their parents less authority.
Children are wrongfully taking more control over the financial decisions of their parents, it is
reasonable to assert that advertisements facilitate this behavior. Jeffrey Goldstein, Ph.D.,
comments on the standard argument that kids constantly nag their parents until they buy what
their son or daughter saw in television advertisements. Although Goldstein proceeds to argue
Sampson 1

that advertising is not entirely to blame - which is a valid point - we can all agree that typical
argument is a large contributor ("Children and Advertising"). In result, kids begin to believe that
they can throw tantrums to receive what they want, which opposes the critical moral lesson that
we reach our goals through hard-work. Furthermore, Eric Schlosser, an award-winning
journalistand youth educator, addresses how commonly Web sites scope in on children; however
only one percent requested the participating child to receive permission from his or her parents
(522). Again, immature children are encouraged to make decisions without consulting their
parents, who are typically more concerned about moral behavior than profit-seeking companies
are. Well-developed advertisements are contributing to children's immature tantrums and
encouraging them to make decisions without respecting their cognitively developed elders.
By glorifying unnecessary, expensive products advertisements from businesses play a
role in the reckless spending choices of today's youth. Advertisements sell products that make
children feel content with themselves; consequently, immature minds bypass financial
circumstances for tangible desires. The highly successful and profitable American Girl
Collection by Pleasant Company serves as a precise example. This collection consists of dolls
representing young girls from different periods of American history, along with accompanying
books and accessories. Penn State professor Daniel Hade, who has edited the Journal of...

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