The Effects of Advertising on Children

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The documentary Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood by Adriana Barbaro and Jeremy Earp clearly shows how the ever-evolving industry of advertising has targeted children, and the detrimental effects advertising can have on them. As mentioned by Barbaro and Earp (2008) throughout the documentary, once the “floodgates opened”, multiple advertising companies began to do their best to bombard children with as many advertisements as possible, insinuating as many brands as possible into their lives, and eventually attempting to make them “brand-loyal.” (Barbaro & Earp, 2008; Eagle, Bulmer, Bruin, & Kitchen, 2005). It is then imperative to understand and analyze why such companies do so, and the universal consequences of such tactics. Through analysis of the advertising activities of these companies, this paper will demonstrate how damaging the advertising industry is towards children, the universal consequences of such tactics, and what needs to be done in regards to such advertising companies to prevent even further damaging consequences for children in the future. While the first half of this paper will deal with how the advertising market has evolved over time, the second half will examine the effects and significant ramifications of advertising, and potential solutions for bettering advertising will be proposed. Thus, an analysis of the evolving advertising market, including discussion on the effects and consequences of advertising to children today will not only prove how children’s marketing is a social problem, but also propose how children’s lives can be improved through advertising regulation.
Advertising is the paid service of promoting a product and influencing consumers’ attitudes through various forms of medi...

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