NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ADVERTISING ON CHILDREN

posted on 19 Oct 2010 19:37 by joyjoejune
Does advertising create a strong control over
the way your children think or act? Does the
mass media compel their needs and desires?

  

 
  

There are plenty of theories about the effects of advertising. The main purpose of any advertisement is to persuade the audience about the quality of the product and instill or induce in the audience to keep on purchasing. Various creative whom belong to different advertising agencies are often churning out new ideas to deliver their message to the public. And since children form the major parts of the target group for advertisers, many advertisements focused on children are a proof of this fact.

Nowadays, advertising plays an important role in the society, as it tends to influence young minds in particular. Today, children are watching more television than years ago, and thus viewing more advertisings. One study alleges that each year, children in America are spending more time watching television than they are spending in school.

Many books have been written and many studies and reports done on the effects of TV advertising on children. In the following paragraphs I will look at some of the reasons why advertisers advertise to children, some different positive and negative effects of TV advertisement on children, how people can cut through the hype of TV ads and pick good things for their children.
  
  
  
 
Advertisers choose children because they can easily lure them in. Advertisers spent more than 100 billion in 1980. This number is more than doubled in 2001 when it reached $230 billion (Laws, 2003). The average child sees an estimate of more than 20,000 commercials every year - that works out to at least 55 commercials per day (Laws, 2003). Children will insist their parents to purchase what they see or hear on television---children had an influence on their parent’s purchases.

 
 
Children don't just have their parents buy them toys, but they make purchases of their own. No matter how you look at it, advertisers choose children because they are the most easily influenced and will spend their money if they find something interesting.

In America, children and adolescents view 4,000 ads per year on TV alone. This occurs despite the fact that the Children's Television Act limits advertising on children's programming to 10.5 minutes/hour on weekends and 12 minutes/hour on weekdays. However, much of children's viewing occurs during prime time, which features nearly
16 minutes/hour of advertising. Also, movies targeted at children often prominently feature brand-name products and fast food restaurants. In 1997–1998, 8 alcohol companies placed products in 233 motion pictures and in 1 episode or more of 181 TV series. According to the Consumer's Union, more than 160 magazines are now targeted at children. Young people see 45% more beer ads and 27% more ads for hard liquor in teen magazines than adults do in their magazines. An increasing number of websites
try to tempt children and teenagers to make direct purchases. Many of these media use slick promotional techniques to target young people.
 
                                            

Advertising to children has long been a part of the free market form of society and must be comprised as another part of a complex economic engine that runs day and night to provide a better lifestyle for us all. Advertising to children generates jobs, injects money into the economy, and instills the importance of the freedom of choice in children at a young age. It also develops a child’s ability to understand the value of money and teaches them that individuals can achieve anything if they are willing to pay the price.

 

However, advertising can also have negative effects over young minds if parents are not really careful and do not teach their children about the importance of money. In many cases, children tend to misinterpret the messages conveyed through the advertisement. They end up having wrong believes about many issues. Advertising influences the minds of children, which creates a need to own that particular product being advertised. Glossy images on the magazines or billboards or flashy advertisements on television only create the impulse for impulsive buying. Parents who cannot deal with the rising demands or bad temper are only tend to give in to the demands of their children. Children then get used to a certain kind of lifestyle, which is shown on the television or through various media. This only creates a very wrong impression on their young minds making them lose the ability to live a life without relying on materialistic joys. The power of advertising thus, can not be ignored. Some advertisers try to impersonate more positive items to children, but many children are overcome with the negative ways of advertising.



Many educational posters in schools are advertising candy to children, when it will only rot their teeth and make them gain weight. Along with food advertisements, many young children are even being shown cigarette advertisements which promote many young people smoking. When a young child sees something like that they can only think but to go try it themselves and maybe they will have fun and enjoy themselves. Children that are trying smoking are becoming younger and younger. Smoking has nothing good to offer to children but health problems later on in life.

Television impacts children the most as far as advertising goes. Many children as young as three years old recognize brand named products and clothing. When these children spend time watching so much television, they can not help but be influenced by it and want what they see. These children become so obsessed with having what they see on television that they continue to irritate their parents until they get it. Some parents may even have trouble keeping up with the amount of money that their child thinks they need so they may have the newest products out there. These children that are watching more television, are going to want more toys seen in advertisements and eat more advertised food than children who do not watch as much television. 


The children are our future and an important part
of the present as well. We must understand the
importance of a child’s role in today’s world and
today’s economy. With these kinds of effects of
advertising, one wonders who is to be blamed in this
whole issue. Parents play a major role in this case.
They need to monitor what influences the minds
of children. Parents also need to be firm with
children whenever their demands increase. Children
need to be told gently that a ‘no’ can not be turned
into a ‘yes’ with tears or brawls. Parents also need to
instill good habits and help children to
differentiate between right and wrong. And the sooner
 it’s told, the better it would be for the child and subsequently parents as well. Advertisers on the other hand, can also try to put their message across creatively and target the entire family rather than just children. With a balanced approach, the negative effects of advertising can surely be controlled to a great scope.

      
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

edit @ 19 Oct 2010 19:55:01 by JJJ