Essay on Marketing Our Youth

Essay on Marketing Our Youth

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American advertising is a large and formidable industry with expenditures approaching $250 billion in the United States alone, and more than $450 billion spent worldwide (Sivulka). A few of the largest advertisers are the manufactures of food, soft drinks, beer, and tobacco; a fact which has put many parents and child advocates on the defensive for years. Currently the US uses a system of voluntary corporate self-regulation to control and monitor the majority of advertising activity, which places very few restrictions on what type of advertising can be shown during which shows and how often. One of such restrictions was enacted in 1990 by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), which ruled that advertising to children younger than 12 cannot exceed 12 minutes per hour on the weekdays and 10.5 minutes per hour on the weekends (Advertising Educational Foundation). This legislation was enacted in response to the reporting by the American Academy of Pediatrics that children younger than 8 years old lack the capacity to critically assess the commercials they see,” which means that young children perceive advertisements as truth” (qtd. in Reinhart). While this legislation was step in the right direction, it has not been nearly enough, as many advertisers have found other times and methods in which to reach children. As advertisements have increased in number and diversity, so have their ability to negatively impact today’s youth. Over the last decade obesity, alcohol consumption, smoking, and eating disorders have all increased in frequency among today’s youth. While it is certain that advertising alone is not the only factor leading to these negative outcomes, recent studies have confirmed; however, that it is in fact a leading for...


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...eley, CA: Center on Alcohol Advertising. 1996. Web. 31 Mar. 2011
O'Donnell, Jayne. “As kids get savvy, marketers move down the age scale.” USA Today. April 12, 2007. Web. 14 April. 2011
Reinhart, Colleen. “Regulations on Advertising to Children.” Business: Advertising. Demand Media, Inc. January 11, 2011. Web. 14 April. 2011
Sivulka, Juliann. “advertising industry.” In Geisst, Charles, ed. Encyclopedia of American Business History. New York: Facts on File Inc., 2006. American History Online. Web. 14 April. 2011Advertising Standards Authority. New Zealand. Code for Advertising to Children. Principle 1(h). August 2010. Web. 14 April. 2011
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “The Surgeon General's Call to Action To Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, 2007. Web. 14 April. 2011

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