Advertising and Children

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Advertising aimed at children should be banned

In today’s capitalist society, advertising is all around us. As it has acquired its strong presence on the internet, it seems that there is no way we can escape its ceaseless images and messages in our everyday lives. Of course, we are not a captive audience who is easily duped by the manipulation of advertising. Just as advertising gets more sophisticated and glamorous to catch our attention, so we have developed our insight into its various tactics. However, the problem is that advertising also targets children who are not able to discriminate what they see on TV commercials from fact. Because of their lack of knowledge and experience, young children cannot understand the persuasive intent of advertising and see through schemes used by advertisers. In this essay, I will explain the negative influences of advertising on children and prove why advertising targeting them should be banned.

To begin with, as I have mentioned earlier, children are not mature enough to understand how they are targeted and how advertising works on their mind and purchasing behavior. Recent research, ‘Television viewing and aggressive behavior during adolescence and adulthood’, shows that children aged two to five are not able to tell the difference between regular TV programs and commercials. This means they do not even understand that advertisements are there to sell their products, and they tend to believe what they are shown on TV commercials is true. Also, they do not know that advertisers often exaggerate the usefulness and effectiveness of their product to promote sales, and thus they are easy to fall for misleading advertising. Apart from exaggerating, there are other several tactics used by advertisers, which is difficult for children to detect. For example, advertisers make a frequent use of weasel words which sound informative, but actually mean nothing. William Lutz, the author of the book entitled ‘With These...
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