top-rated free essay

Should Corporations and Companies Advertise to Children?

By lleecpht Jul 03, 2012 1233 Words
Should corporations and companies advertise to children?
Since its modern-day origins to the early twentieth century, advertising has come a long way. All throughout history, advertising has been utilized. Sometimes the method used was as simple as a for sale sign, via word of mouth, and even in newspapers. In general, most methods of advertising were also directed at the general population, and not at any specific target group. Nowadays, advertising is all around us. Everyone is exposed to some form of media advertising: radio stations, magazines, product packaging, and even embedded within the World Wide Web. Advertisements have upgraded from word of mouth, to a vastly more efficient method to increase sales. What is the harm in that? Well, corporations and companies tend to focus on certain age groups when advertising products or services. One of the most highly targeted population groups that corporations and advertising agencies focus on is children. Thus, the issue at hand is the well-being of our children. To begin, let’s take a broad look into the art of advertising. Many in favor of advertising towards children, claim that advertising educates consumers about new products (children and adults alike), increases sales, helps the economy (creates jobs), and some free services can be funded (free radio and TV channels). As for the cons, some say advertising causes spending to be higher, due to high product prices. Small companies do not stand a chance because they cannot compete with larger companies with such massive advertising budgets. Too often, products are purchased on a want basis and not a need basis, which in turn, can lead to pollution and waste (good products are thrown away for newer ones). Constantly, consumers are strategically manipulated, especially children, because corporations and companies advertise to “get kids to nag their parents and nag them well” (Fast Food Nation, pg43). Can one really decide if advertising has an adverse effect on children with such a brief overview of the issue? No, a more detailed examination is necessary. What is advertising? defines advertising as "the act or practice of calling...attention to one's product, service, need...especially by paid announcements in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, billboards, et cetera.” Essentially, the goal is to attract more consumers. The act of advertising is quite acceptable; however, the content of what is being advertised should be carefully analyzed. Common sense can be applied to deciding if certain products should be advertised: tobacco, alcohol, guns, et cetera. Of course, there are products that are beneficial and consumers should be encouraged to purchase them, like educational material. Then there is the gray area, in which products are based around human consumption: medicine and food. The question that needs to be asked now is, who decides what is allowed or not allowed to be advertised? Advertising censorship is too big of a job for one person. Plus, if one person could do the job, how does one prove him or herself to be qualified for the job? In lieu of the vastness of the number of products and services that exist, many organizations were created to assist in advertising censorship. Both government and nonprofit organizations alike have been formed to create or enforce advertising guidelines: the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), NARC (National Advertising Review Counsel), CBBB (Council of Better Business Bureaus), and CARU (Children's Advertising Review Unit). Many agencies exist with the purpose of "protecting America’s consumer" (, but few of them have the sole mission of protecting children. Guidelines have been carefully crafted to be impartial and clearly understandable in regards to managing any form of advertising. Content aside, other limitations are placed on when advertising is allowed as well. Typically advertising limits, such as the length of time one is exposed to advertisements, are not too big of an issue for standard material ads: billboards, banners, or newspapers. However, ads in any media form (radio, television, or computer) can be quite difficult to manage. According to Charles F. Adams in his book Common Sense in Advertising, throughout a sixteen hour period of exposing one to the many forms of media - ranging from newspapers to the television - an average adult would be "exposed to a minimum of 560 advertisements". Considering the amount of advertisements an average adult is exposed to, does that mean children are exposed less? Children are unfortunately more prone to advertisements than adults, because children are the intended focus these days. In fact, strictly speaking, the television aspect of media was mandated to follow limitations set up by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). In 1990, the Children's Television Act was passed by the FCC, which limited the amount of advertising allowed during children's programming. To set up guidelines on what is advertised is one thing, but to need to limit how much advertising is allowed per program down to the minute is bizarre. Before continuing, I feel that I should elaborate on the effect that advertising has on children. Early on, children are easy to manipulate and to mold into what society deems acceptable. To make matters worse, children do not have the life experience of deciphering what is real and not real. Many corporations and companies that have turned their focus on children "today [and] has an immediate give children a reason to ask for a product... [to turn children into] surrogate salesman”) Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation, pg49). Aside from knowing the purpose of marketers, overall health related problems have also risen from certain products being advertised. In particular, a correlation has been made between fast food products and obesity. Obesity rates have almost "tripled in the last quarter century [and] approximately twenty percent of our youth are now overweight with obesity rates in preschool age children" ( I am unable to list all the ways children are being affected, because there are simply too many. By now, some of you must surely be thinking to yourself, how do we protect children from the barrage of advertisements? Is enough being done to protect them? Which brings up an issue that has been brought up countless times in countless places: should advertisements toward children be banned? Since this is an outstanding issue that can go either way, how about settling on some middle ground? How about banning advertisements in certain environments, like say, schools? School advertising is typically helpful in raising money to further education or even furnishing new facilities. Realistically, banning advertisements towards children is not feasible. I ask again, should corporations and companies advertise to children? Unfortunately, I believe they should. After all, the purpose of any company or corporation is to make money, period! Otherwise, they would not be in business. On top of that, the simplest answer is companies and corporations allow our economy to keep going. However, I do not believe it is the sole responsibility of corporations and companies to manage and censure what and how they advertise. I believe it is the parents who are duty-bound to raise their children to know what is right and what is wrong. The parents are accountable to teach them discipline and self-control. The parents are responsible to teach them how to not fall prey to society’s demands. At the end of the day, corporations and companies, in conjunction with parents/guardians, need to accept mutual responsibility in managing advertising towards children.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Should Companies Market to Children?

    ...Should companies market to children? Olaf Maduro 2 B The mind Implanter. Nowadays millions and millions are spent by companies who are advertising products for children. They are an easy target and what they see is what they want. Companies play it smart but how far can they go? Is it ethical to advertise when the health of a child is in da...

    Read More
  • Should Alcohol Companies Be Allowed to Advertise?

    ...By law alcohol companies in the country are only allowed to advertise at the point of sale, but most of the popular brands manage to advertise themselves thorough indirect methods, which might entail coming up with products such as clothing range, mineral water, music albums and exclusive merchandize with the same name. These products are then m...

    Read More
  • Television Should Be Prohibited to Children

    ...Television should be prohibit to children Television as a media tool is popular around the world. With its popularity across all age groups comes the question of whether or not children should be prohibited from watching television. I believe that children should not be allowed to watch television for extended periods of time because it has ma...

    Read More
  • Companies Marketing To Children

    ... Companies Marketing To Children Children all around the world are persuaded to buy the things advertised on tv because of what the marketer has put together to capture the child's attention, How they market to children is by a thing called poster power which means kids are vocal about what they want. Kids everyday talk about how they wou...

    Read More
  • Companies Should Engage in Celebrity Endorsements

    ...Companies Should Engage in Celebrity Endorsements In our economy today, there are many marketing strategies and tools businesses use to attract consumers. A marketing strategy is important in business because it is the company’s plan on how to increase the number of sales of their product or service. Businesses are aggressive when it comes...

    Read More
  • Corporation and Company Law

    ...Books and materials Leading text • Dignam & Lowry, Company Law, 5th edition (2009)* ** • Hicks & Goo’s Cases and Materials on Company Law, 7th edition 2011** • Mayson, French and Ryan on Company Law, 26th edition (2010) • Bourne on Company Law, 5th edition * Dignam & Lowry, Company Law, 6th editi...

    Read More
  • Corporation and Multinational Company

    ...POSSIBLE ADVANTAGES OF A MULTINATIONAL CORPORATION A multinational corporation (MNC) is a corporation that is registered in more than one country or that has operations in more than one country. In other words, business enterprise with manufacturing, sales, or service subsidiaries in one or more foreign countries, also known as ...

    Read More
  • Corporation and Multinational Companies

    ...There are many advantages of Nike being a multinational company such as multinational products and services provide the best possible standards. Because in a foreign country, Since customers are willing to spend their money on the best products, the multinational companies need to keep the strong competitors at bay so they must to produce really...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.