STUDY ON THE IMPACT OF TV ADVERTISING ON CHILDREN

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Market Forces January 2008

Vol. 3 No. 4

SHOULD WE ALLOW OUR CHILDREN TO WATCH TV INDEPENDENTLY: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY ON THE IMPACT OF TV ADVERTISING ON CHILDREN TARIQ JALEES & AMBREEN NAZ

College of Management Sciences PAF-Karachi Institute of Economics and Technology tariqj@pafkiet.edu.pk Abstract The purpose of this study is to (1) deliberate upon the impacts of television advertising on children, (2) identify the critical “impacts”, (3) empirically test the significant factors. Based on literature survey several impacts of adverting were identified including: (1) unnecessary purchasing (2) low nutritional food (3) violence (4) materialism. The variables derived though the literature survey were used to develop a close-ended questionnaire that was administered to a sample size of 108, drawn through nonproportionate stratified technique. The rating on the impacts of advertising were as high as 3.9 on “low nutritional value” and as low as 3.5 for “materialism”, on a scale of (5 to 1). Pearson correlation was used to measure the relationships of the variables on one-toone basis indicating that “unnecessary purchasing” had a strong relationship with “materialism” (r = .054) and “exposure” (r= 0.54). The weakest relationship was found between “materialism” and “low nutritional value” with correlation of (0 .22). 1.0. INTRODUCTION Television is one of the strongest media and due to its reach it is influencing the cultures of the country. Children of course are the worst victims of TV influences. Its impact on the children are universal. The gravity of TV influence varies from child to child. It depends on factors such as age and personality of the child, their viewing habits that is inclusive of duration of TV watching, types of programs, and guidance provided by the parents.

TV viewing has its pros and cons. On the negative side, excessive TV viewing leads to laziness and inactivity and thus contributes towards childhood obesity. Children who watch lot of television are found to be the ones who are not involved in healthy and sport activities and are consumers of high fat and high energy snack foods. Commercials could be attributed as misleading.They do not portray the foods children should eat to keep themselves healthy (Dorr and Koyarii, 1980; Young 1990). “Television viewers tend to get a sense of relaxation when they are watching TV, which of course only last till the TV is on. Sports activities and hobbies are the source of energy whereas TV viewing is a source of depleted energy” (Bartsch and London, 2000) The positive aspects of television viewing are that it helps in educating viewers about factual knowledge and how to handle different people in different social situations. Television is a pervasive medium which is readily available to nearly all children. Most of the children world over spend about three to four hours daily watching television. Initially, children face problems in comprehending television programs. But being quick learners, they can make rational decisions about right or wrong under proper guidance of the parents. Thus it is advisable for the parents of young children to monitor the TV viewing habits of their children. (Bartsch and London, 2000). 2 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of the study is (1) to deliberate upon the impacts of television advertising on children. (2) to identify these critical “impacts”, and (3) empirically test some of the critical factors. 2.0 2.1 LITERATURE SURVEY ADVERTISING

Different authors have defined advertising differently. “Advertising is a paid, oneway communication through a medium in which the sponsor is identified and the message is controlled. Variations include publicity, public relations, product placement, sponsorship, underwriting, and sales promotion. Every major medium is used to deliver these messages, including: television, radio, movies, magazines, newspapers, the Internet, and billboards” (Kunkel and Gantz, 1992). Advertising can be...
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