Children and Advertising

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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...
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