Targeting Advertising to Children

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In response to the video viewed in class last Thursday which discussed how advertising is targeted at children, I can see both sides to the argument. It is a well-known fact that children have a major effect on what parents purchase, especially food. There is the whining method in which a child will complain and annoy their parent until they get what they want, with the parent usually giving in just because they don't want to hear it anymore similar to the Simpson's example in the video. I do think that some advertisers take advantage of children and their naiveness, promoting unhealthy foods and making some products seem better than they really are. However, advertising is an industry and they need to make their profits too. I don't think that advertisers that target young children should not be allowed to advertise (how would anyone know about their product?) but I do think they should have to follow a strict, yet creative set of guidelines when creating their advertisements.

An example from my own experience where I felt like I was led on a little was when I was in 5th grade and my elementary school was fundraising for a new playground. We had a lady come in from a fundraising company to do her sales pitch, she got all of the students, including myself, very excited to go out and sell the products and get all the cool prizes. This instantly set off a competitive vibe throughout the entire school seeing as most of us kids were neighbors and our parents had the same friends that we wanted to sell to. I remember my mother being upset about the situation because myself and other students had become so consumed by selling as much as we could to keep moving up the prize ladder. Looking back now, that sales lady seemed a little deceiving and like she was taking advantage of our age at the time especially since the "cool" prizes that she promised didn't end up being that great. In conclusion, children should be advertised to but with restrictions to avoid taking advantage of them.

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This page contains a single entry by Ashley Delisle published on February 25, 2013 10:41 AM.

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