Advertising and Our Children Essay

Advertising and Our Children Essay

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Marketing and advertising in the United States is creating needs rather than meeting the needs of our children. Advertising influence on children and teenagers is increasing beyond just television today. Children cannot escape the 40,000 ads that are on t.v. alone, keep in mind that is television alone, not including the pervasive influence of other media such as ad placement in programs and video games, toys, the internet, billboards, radio, mobile phones, and so much more. Obesity, cigarette and alcohol use, and the poor nutrition of our children and teenagers are contributed to exposure to this never ending barrage of ads. The facts are staggering.
I’m going to give you some numbers, quite a few numbers, but these are some statistics we all should be aware of and should startle parents. Did you know the average US child watches an estimated 25,000 to 40,000 television commercials per year, however, in the UK, it is considerably less, with 10,000? Also, $15-17 billion is spent in advertising to children in the US, with an unbelievable amount of over $4 billion spent by the fast food industry alone in 2009?(9,10) No wonder we have a nation of overweight and obese youth. With a “tween strategy”, major brands are receiving $30 billion from parents spending for their children. How do we fight an industry when 80% of all global brands deploy this strategy? (11)
Our children are viewing more than 3000 advertisements per day through the various medias such as t.v., internet, and magazines, and now even bathroom stalls. (1, 2) Look around you and your children, and take notice of all the places an ad is positioned. Really look. It’s astonishing. Everything from apparel with Marvel Comic characters on them to the latest unhealthy Happy ...


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...ion Advertising in 1977 and 2004: Information for the Obesity Debate, FTC, June 1, 2007.

(10)Television Advertising Leads to Unhealthy Habits in Children; Says APA Task Force, American Psychological Association (APA), February 23, 2004

(11) Kim Campbell and Kent Davis-Packard, How ads get kids to say I want it! Christian Science Monitor, September 18, 2000

(12) The New York Times, Health Groups Criticize Allergy Drug Promotion By Katie Thomas Published: June 21, 2012, on page B3

(13) Juliet Schor, Regulation, Awareness, Empowerment. Young People and Harmful Media Content in the Digital Age, Nordicom, June 2006 (p.111)

(14) Juliet Schor, Regulation, Awareness, Empowerment. Young People and Harmful Media Content in the Digital Age, Nordicom, June 2006 (pp.114-115)

(15) Toys of Misery; A Report on the Toy Industry in China, National Labor Committee, December 2001

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