Is Advertisement Kidnapping Our Youth? Essay

1720 words - 7 pages

Introduction
In today’s generation there is a plethora of outlets for advertising campaigns to promote their products or services. Today’s generation also has more children being exposed to these advertisements than any other, thus giving a psychological advantage over whomever they are trying to sell themselves to. Most advertising may seem funny, cute, and seemingly innocent, but does that make it morally correct, and is there something more being sold beyond the subject matter? Should somebody be watching over the advertising campaigns and protecting the minds and interests of our children, and should that someone be our own government? The answer to this question is yes, we must govern greater controls over the advertising companies’ marketing approach towards children, and how it is used.
Parents, teachers, and other members of society give their best ability to teach and protect our children from anything that may be harmful to them. Their minds are vulnerable to manipulation, and advertising companies are notorious for exploiting this and selling everything from products to attitudes to actions, and these are typically in a manner that are different to the ‘status quo’ of society. What these advertisements deem as ‘okay’ by society’s standards, may not truly be in the best interest of our children. As parents, teachers, and others alike, there is only so much they can do to protect our children from the messages conveyed in these advertisements. This is where government intervention would not only be able to enforce rules and regulations, but could also impose justifiable penalties to anyone who violates those rules. To demonstrate why such enforcement should exist, this report will display details as the amount of time children are exposed to these advertisements, examples of the outcomes from these advertisements, and how trying to control the advertisement agencies have already worked in application.
What Are We Watching?
Today, on average, children are spending up to seven hours a day on televisions, computers, phones, and other devices (aap.org). To put it in perspective, approximately 30% of a child’s television viewing can be spent in exposure to advertisements. Even with the limits imposed on television by the FCC and other components such as the ‘V-chip’, there is no real control of what is being shown on commercials within the content we may deem appropriate.
In the world of the Internet, there are limitless amounts of ways advertisement can be injected into the content our children enjoy while online. Websites such as YouTube operate off revenue that is generated by selling advertising space in their videos, so even by watching a video you may believe is innocent enough, the advertisement that is shown prior to, may not be. These short advertisements can very easily show suggestive advertising for a dating website, or violent video clip promoting a movie, or video game can taint the innocence of the video you think your...

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