Is the advertising to children an issue of profit over public good?
Considering economic socialization, the macro role of advertising to children is educating the next generation in the consumption ways. Exposing children to advertising is a mere expression of social economic system. Children therefore use advertising as a learning platform of the tools that will facilitate their social interaction and later facilitate social conformance and self-expression for their families and themselves. Advertising also helps children find out about brands’ symbolic meaning. Economic arguments about the need for advertising to children are real but very unconvincing to the public. The reason why the public find the arguments unconvincing is their nature. In the developing world, there are solid economic arguments that favor employment of child labor.
Children have no interest in advertising and their role in economic socialization. Instead, they have pragmatic reasons for interest. Children use advertising to find out about brands and what the explanations are incase required as well as what they do and what they are for. It is very natural to learn about things and in most cases, advertisements targeting parents or the public are for children therefore targeting children directly when advertising is not an issue of profit over public good.
Children watch the television for an average of two and a half hours per day therefore exposed to more advertisements when watching alone or even while in the family setting. Researchers report that by the age of seven and eight, children become aware of the persuasive intention of advertising. The researchers continue to add that children in the mentioned age bracket understands that the intention of advertising it to tell them about the goods they may wish to poses but very few people believe that. Children are therefore not only aware of the persuasive nature of advertising but also its creative persuasion nature.
The ethical arguments against advertising to children are clear yet questionable and so are the economic ones. The public, which includes parents, feel that advertisers pressure them through their children and often experience it as an assault to their finances and patience especially when they cannot afford what their children get from advertisements. The ethical problem of advertising therefore concerns the parents and not the children. This creates a concern about using children in this manner. Advertisers say that their intentions are not telling the children to ask for things but to tell them about what they use in their daily lives because at the end of the day, children pester their parents for things they want regardless of advertisements. The pester power does not come from advertisements but from peer pressure. Advertisers suggest that they are without consequence yet hard profit drive their business.
Advertising to children is also an issue of profit over public good because over half of advertisements shown during children television and other times are for food and food related products like milk and cereals. When people talk of advertising to children, they simply talk about food advertisements and unless they do not want to bring up their children healthy, they should not complain because advertisers just induce appetite to children. Advertising to children is an issue of profit over public good because of the above ways. Children react more to advertisements than adults do because what they see appears appealing and sweet. At the end of the day, children as their parents to buy them what they see and at times they tend to compete with those children used in the advertisement. The intention of advertising is increasing demand and when advertisers target children; their intention is getting more consumers of goods and services related to children.
How can this type of advertising be a "poison pill" for American society?
When it comes to the American society, the problem is with food and not advertising. Concentration on unhealthy food advertisement is an indication of marketing ignorance. Researchers show that the foods appearing on commercials targeting children are as appealing to the senses of children as possible. Food scientists make sure that children will enjoy the food products developed. Advertisers therefore direct children to enjoyable food, which the public would consider if only there was a nutritional balance in the food. If the American society is willing to intervene, then it should focus on production and marketing of the processed foods and not merely on advertising.
Advertising has led to the poor diet of the children because what they see is what they want to eat. The advertised goods are for consumption. When there are nutrition problems children, suffer the consequences and develop bad eating habits. Good health begins from when one is young. In America today, many people are dying from cancer and cancer could be because of bad diet. The poison pill is not the vulnerability to advertising but the reaction to advertisement. Having gone through the whole article, advertising to children is changing everything in the American society. It has greatly influenced the ethics and diet of the American people especially and the cultural values. Children are running to fast foods because of the advertisements made about them. The traditional foods that are rich in nutrition make children lose appetite because they are not as appealing as those advertised in the social media are.
Advertising to children can be a killing pill in the American society in very many ways because the children are very sharp and learn faster than the adults learn. For instance, there is a very big difference between a child exposed to the social media and the one without exposure. Study and research shows that the exposed child is likely to suffer from nutrition related illnesses more than the child who is not exposed. The child exposed to social media and children television where there is advertising to children enjoys eating fast foods. These fast foods lack a balanced diet. The life expectancy has gone down in America and this is because of diet related cases. A child would rather enjoy a cold soft drink than cold water to quench thirst.
In the past before advertisers started having children as their target audience in some of the advertisements, children consumed only a balance diet. It is very important to protect older children from some of the advertising aspects because they eventually influence the younger children. The younger children find them to be good role models and tend to do what they do. Some children even argue that taking some foods will make them bright, confident and bold. It is the work of the society to protect children from social media until they are of age where they can distinguish between good and bad.
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