The Dark Side of Advertising

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Advertising is a pervasive influence on children and adolescents. Advertising is a mass media content intended to persuade audiences of readers, viewers or listeners to take action on products, services and ideas. “The idea is to drive consumer behavior in a particular way in regards to a product, service or concept” (What is Advertising 1). Many young people view more than forty thousand ads per year on television alone and increasingly are being exposed to advertising on the internet, magazines and schools. The advertising industry spends twelve billion dollars per year on ads targeted to children, bombarding young audiences with persuasive messages through media. This targeting occurs because advertising is a two hundred and fifty billion dollar a year industry with nine hundred thousand brands to sell, and children and adolescents are attractive consumers (Childrem, Adolscents and Advertising 1). Advertising has a negative effect on all humans, but their main target is children; therefore, there should be less amount of commercials exposed through media, magazines and schools. Since children are more impressionable than adults, they are fertile ground for advertisers. When children have role models, they are usually the people who appear on the television screen in front of them. The children will mimic the poor quality of their role model’s actions and later it will become their future lifestyle.

How Did It All Start?

In the Middle Ages most people were unable to read, but images of clothing, shoes, horseshoes or bags of flour on signs pointed out the tailor, cobbler, blacksmith or miller available as service providers. As decades passed, advertising grew as the relative wealth of nations expanded. Advertising developed...

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