Advertising’s Toxic Relationship with American Youth

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Advertising’s Toxic Relationship With American Youth

ENGL 101-B18

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The average American youth spends 1,500 hours watching television and in those 1,500 hours they will view an average of 20,000 thirty-second commercial advertisements. Norman Herr, Ph.D., Television Statistics (2007), http://www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html. Many of those advertisements include an array of alcoholic beverages, scantily dressed actors or actresses promoting sought-after clothing brands, and popular children stars or cartoon characters promoting fast food chains. Along with the fore-mentioned products there are commercial advertisements promoting violence and unsafe acts. The latest trends in advertisements have led to lower morals, a higher obesity rate, an attitude of materialism, and alcohol consumption amongst America’s youth. There is currently a very toxic relationship between television advertising and American youth.

“Youth exposure to alcohol advertising on U.S. television increased seventy-one percent between 2001 and 2009 … according to an analysis from the Center on Alcohol marketing and youth (CAMY) at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Johns Hopkins University, Youth Exposure to Alcohol Ads on TV Growing Faster than Adults (2010), http://www.camy.org/research/Youth_Exposure_to_Alcohol_Ads_on_TV_Growing_Faster_Than_Adults/index.html. A large factor in the increase of youth exposure is that these advertisements are being aired during programming targeted at underage audiences. The majority of alcohol advertisements appeal to youth through the “use of animals, cartoons, humor, music, athletics, and themes of belonging and friendship.” George A. Hacker, Alcohol Advertising: Are Our Kids Collateral or Intended Targets (2002), http://www.cspinet.org/booze/alcohol_advertising_targets.htm. With advertisements normalizing the use of alcohol America’s youth are more inclined to utilize the...
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