Today 's children are unique in many ways from previous generations, but perhaps the most influencing on our young children today is Television advertisements. "In 1997, the nation 's estimated 34 million children age 12 and under will have spent or influenced spending of a record $500 billion" (Horovitz 1997). There is obviously a great deal of interest in this subject, many books have been written, and many studies and reports done on the effects of TV advertising on children. In the following paragraphs we will look at some of the reasons why we advertise to children, some different positive and negative effects of TV advertisement on children, how people can cut through the hype of TV ads and pick good things for their children.
Why Do We Advertise to Children?
Today, everywhere we go we see some type of advertising. A sale at the supermarket or a billboard for a radio station, are two of the many forms of advertisement. Currently, advertisements that target children are very controversial.
Marketers choose children because they can easily lure them in. Advertisers spent $105.97 billion in 1980. This number more than doubled in 2001 when it reached $230 billion (Laws, 2003). In the year 2000, the Census reported 105 million househ0olds in America, meaning advertisers spend an average of $2,190 on one household per year. Advertisers spend this much money because of television. The average child sees an estimate of more than 20,000 commercials every year - that works out to at least 55 commercials per day (Laws, 2003). Children will insist their parents purchase what they see or hear on television. In the 1960 's, children had an influence on about $5 billion of their parent 's purchases. That figure increased to $50 billion in 1984 and tripled to $188 billion in 1997. James McNeal, a kids marketing expert, estimates children twelve and under will influence $500 billion of family purchases by the year
References: Washington Post (October 29, 2003) Under-6 set tunes in TV 's not books Toled National Association for the Education of Young Children.(2003), Available online: http://www.naeyc.org Kilbourne, Jean. (2003) " Own this Child " Available online: Wesolowsky, Tuck (2003)"Advertisements target young children" Available online: www.rferl.com/nca/features/2000/03/F.RU.000316151205.html Horovitz, Bruce. (December 18, 1997). "Cashing in on kids Retailers in search American Heritage, 2002 NYBOR,LLC (1996-2002) McNeal, James (2001) p.32.Strasburger, Victor C. (2001, June). Children and TV advertising: Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 22, 185. Education Digest (2000, January) Monster? New York: Routledge, 1990.