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Children And Advertising Essay

2273 words - 9 pages

Children and AdvertisingChildren are the most vulnerable to advertising. They are the most susceptible because their minds are immature and are unable to distinguish good advertising versus bad advertising.Television commercials have a huge impact on how it affects children. Commercials are the biggest form of advertisement geared toward children. "Children between the ages of two and eleven view well over 20,000 television commercials yearly, and that breaks down to 150 to 200 hours" (MediaFamily, 1998). Television advertisements geared towards children have the biggest market by far. "The advertising market in 1997 showed that children under twelve years of age spent well over twenty-four million dollars of their own money on products they saw on television" (Kanner & Kasser, 2000). Kanner and Kasser go on to say that advertisers have even hired psychologists as consultants to help the advertisers come up with fine-tuned commercials that attract children (2000). In 1999, a group of psychologists wrote to the American Psychological Association asking them to restrict the use of psychological research by advertisers to help sell their products to children. This letter also called for, "an ongoing campaign to probe, review and confront the use of psychological research in advertising and marketing to children" (Hays 1999). "Some child advertisers boldly admit that the commercials they use exploit children and create conflicts within the family" (Kanner & Kasser, 2000). Kanner and Kasser also say that, advertisers work very hard to increase their products "nag factor". This term often refers to how often children pressure their parents to buy the item they saw advertised on television (2000).The effects on advertising to children can be very noticeable. There have been numerous studies done that document that "children under eight years old areJackson 2unable to understand the intent of advertisements developmentally, therefore they accept the advertising claims as true" (Shelov, S., et. al., 1995). "The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to say that children under the age of eight cannot distinguish commercial advertisements from regular television programming. In addition, advertisers have become sneaky about the way they convey their product" (Shelov, S., et. al., 1995). For example, when the announcer says, "some assembly required" for a toy, it is at the end of the commercial and the announcer speaks very quickly. Sometimes, the disclaimers are written in small print and shown at the end of the commercial, and are not understood by most young children. Excessive television viewing often times causes higher obesity rates among children. Children often see foods that are high in fat and calories advertised on television and end up consuming too much of these foods. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that the bombardment of advertising for food and toys to children may result in the increased number of conflicts between parents...

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