Written by John London 2004 http://www.ehow.co.uk/info_8591898_effects-commercial-advertising-children.html In 2004 alone, the U.S. advertising industry spent £7 billion on commercials targeting children -- which makes business sense, considering that kids make up a massive consumer base, using their own largely expendable income or influencing their parents' spending habits. Since the late 1970s, it has become an increasingly controversial issue, with academics identifying several negative effects advertising has on children. These findings have stirred much debate about placing restrictions on advertisers.
The American Psychological Association and American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Communications have been lobbying the federal government to place limits on targeted advertising on the basis that children lack the cognitive ability to differentiate between the persuasive intent in commercials and the media that they are viewing or playing. This means that kids accept what they are seeing in ads as credible and real. A study by U.K. psychology academics Professor Karen Pine and Dr. Avril Nash from the University of Hertfordshire found this problem was compounded because most children's media consumption occurs in the absence of an adult who could explain the intent behind the content.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids in the U.S. see around 40,000 ads annually on TV alone and are increasingly bombarded with commercials via print media, Internet and in their schools. It's hardly surprising that when it comes to expressing preferences, many kids want the brands and products that they regularly see through advertising rather than the generic counterpart that costs far less. This is particularly problematic for parents who increasingly make small and large household spending decisions because of their children's relentless nagging to buy particular