The Impact Advertising Has on Children

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The Impact Advertising Has on Children

Advertising today focuses on specific targeted demographic groups. There is a direct focus on marketing products to young consumers. This age group sees the commercials, but does not really understand the directed message. This can have an adverse effect on the way children interpret and understand the message being presented to them. 'The average American child sees more than 40,000 commercials a year, and advertisers spend more than $12 billion annually marketing to them?double the amount of 10 years ago.' (APA-1) Children watching television are exposed to every channel running commercials that are sending out a mature message to an immature audience. There needs to be something done to prevent young children from receiving the wrong message at an early age. Also help for them to understand the message that is being sent out in a positive manner.

Common themes that are used to sell products are sex, sex appeal and fast food. They are targeted for a younger marketing audience. Over the last thirty years advertising has focused on a younger consumer base and designs commercials to sell products to this age group. You see television ads, that are selling a mature product, but the commercial is appealing to an immature audience. For example: Trojan Condoms have created a cartoon character, Trojan Man, that is promoting the selling of condoms. This form of advertising appeals to smaller children because of the cartoon animated character. Though the product being advertised is a for an adult market, it is still sending out a message to young children that sex is okay. This direct kind of advertising with a cartoon theme, is what catches the child?s attention. The APA report points out, that children under the age of 8 can?t grasp the notion that commercials have a purpose other than entertainment. The child believes what they see and hear without understanding the true message. This is an effective way to advertise, because this persuades the child to want the product or to remember the product later on. Little catchy jingles and colorful carton-like commercials will catch the interest of a younger child, and using simple language that the child can understand is key to getting and keeping their attention focused on the product. Advertising focuses on the young consumer , because the marketing base is high for pr...

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...m.; Sweden bans all TV advertising aimed at children under 12; and Denmark, Finland, and Norway don?t allow sponsorship of any children?s programs. Canada?s Broadcasting Code, which severely restricts children?s advertising, bans ads implying that a product will make a child happier or more popular. We are a country that will sell anything to anyone, no matter what the age or the message that is welcomed with the product. There needs to be more control in adverting to small children.

Advertising is a powerful tool to bring a message to the masses. Controlling the message that is being directed towards very young consumers is critical. Mature advertising should not have an immature theme and should be limited when the commercials are aired. Advertisers need more guidelines to follow in order to help ensure that the right message comes across to children. Parents also need to be more aware of the television their children are watching. They should also talk to their children about commercials, and the message the commercials deliver. Explaining to children that everything they see on television is not real, may help the child interpret the commercials message differently.
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