Advertising toward Children Advertising toward Children Children are easily swayed by media messages and images, which influence them to experiment what they observe on television (Bradbury, 2000). The issue of advertising towards children has caused a raging debate in our contemporary society and thus lawmakers are concerned about setting up a legal framework which provides guidelines and standards for regulating such advertisement. The general public and parents in particular are also worried about such advertising and assert that the advertising industry is exposing children to harmful images that they do not require (Rozendaal & Valkenburg, 2011).
As a result of such advertisements, children are putting a lot of pressure on their guardians and parents because they are enticed by the advertisements to desire what they see. This paper discusses advertisement that is directed at children and proposes that it should be regulated. It is necessary to regulate advertisement that is directed to children because at a young age, children have inability to understand the meaning of the advertising messages. Children normally misinterpret the messages of the advertisers, which leads them into having wrong notions about what is being advertised.
The advertisements within the media, billboards and magazines cause children to have an urge of owning what is demonstrated. Because children do not have sufficient understanding about the value of money parents find it hard to contain the demands of the children (Bradbury, 2000). The advertisers argue that the messages that they present by the advertising are meant to help the parents to decide what is good for their children but the end result of this advertisements is frustration of the parents (Rozendaal & Valkenburg, 2011).
This justifies the need to regulate advertisements which are directed at children. The regulation of advertising which is directed at children is necessary in order to avoid the negative long term influence that advertisement images have on children (Lawlor & Prothero, 2008). Extreme exposure of children to the advertiser’s images on the media is likely to result into long term effects such as poor nutrition which is the cause of the increasing rate of obesity which among young people (Bradbury, 2000). Moreover, over-indulgence in antisocial behavior such as substance abuse and eventual drug addiction would result from unregulated advertisements (Rozendaal & Valkenburg, 2011).
This illustrates that it is necessary to regulate advertisements which are likely to influence children to indulge in unhealthy habits later in their life. The fact that most advertisements cause children to have a materialist behavior leads to arguments which advocate for the regulation of the advertising that is directed at children (Lawlor & Prothero, 2008). Advertisements usually portray that it is through owning of the advertised products that one enjoys life and is accepted among the peers.
As a result, children desire to own various things so that they could gain attention from their friends and help them to make more friends and thus become popular. The materialistic nature which results from unregulated advertisements would cause frustration among the children especially when it comes a time when they would no longer be able to afford such items. As a result, criminal behavior such as theft and robbery may be practiced later in life due to desire to own material things. In conclusion, advertisements which are directed at children are usually misunderstood by these children that make them put a lot of pressure on the parents.
Moreover, long term negative implication of such advertisement on children such as indulgence in substance abuse. Children may also become materialistic for the need to be popular and accepted among peers because of what advertisements portray. Because of these reasons, there is a dire need to regulate advertisements that are directed at children through censorship so that negative implications on the children are prevented. References Bradbury, P. (2000).
Television advertising to children: to regulate or legislate? Children & Society, 14(1), 73-75. Lawlor, M. & Prothero, A. (2008). Exploring children’s understanding of television advertising - beyond the advertiser’s perspective. European Journal of Marketing, 42(11), 1203-1223. Rozendaal, E. & Valkenburg, P. (2011). Childrens understanding of advertisers persuasive tactics. International Journal of Advertising, 30(2), 329-350.