Television and Today’s Youth
In today’s world, violent and sexy television is seen as normal, everyday programming. Parents constantly have to monitor what their children are viewing. What happens when the television hurting your children isn’t the programming? What happens when the media doing the damage is actually the commercials spliced between those carefully chosen shows? Surely, parents cannot watch everything!
In the average year, the advertising industry spends and up to $12 billion dollars on ads specifically targeted toward children (Linn, 2004). A great many of the advertising dollars spent toward the child demographic are pumped directly into television ads, although it has seen a slight decreased with advertising companies starting to spend more revenue on internet advertising. It is estimated that the average child will be exposed to over 40,000 commercials during a years worth of viewing, that boils down to almost 100 commercials every four hours.
When thinking about how many commercials our children are faced with daily, you start to ponder what they could possibly contain. What on earth could possibly take up so much time? First and foremost, it appears that advertisements for fast food, junk food, and sugary cereals account for many of the commercials our children are exposed to. In an independent study conducted on three different networks, using 95 half-hour increments, comprised of preschool programming, found that 130 junk food ads were shown and over half of them were aimed at children. Think of it, your preschooler tells you they want a Happy Meal® out of the middle of nowhere. Not many people stop to think that maybe the television their children are watching is what is causing their odd craving. In the past few years, childhood obesity rates have exploded along with the number of fast food commercials that have appeared on television. In April, the U.S. Trade Commission actually requested...