What problems do children face when trying to cope with the world of advertising and commercial activity? Draw on cross-cultural evidence in your answer. Essay

2834 WordsApr 23, 200912 Pages
Everyday we are exposed to a wide array of advertising messages. Advertising is a form of communication that aims to persuade potential consumers to buy or consume a particular product. An advertiser’s goal is to increase the sales of different products by drawing people’s attention to them and showing them in a positive, favourable light, with the intention of influencing attitudes and subsequent behaviour of viewers (Singer and Singer, 2001, p. 379). Children, usually classified as someone under 16 (Which? 2008), have a constant bombardment of marketing messages, appearing in magazines, on the television, the Internet, billboards, the radio and sides of public transport. Children are considered one of the most vulnerable audiences and are seen as the primary target for marketers today because they are vocal about what they want their parents to buy and therefore influence their parents buying decisions, often known as “pester power”. This essay will use cross cultural evidence to address the problems children face today in the world of advertising, primarily focusing on the effects of television advertisements as it is the predominant medium that advertisers rely on to market products to children. It is estimated the average American child watches 40,000 television advertisements a year (Kunkel, 2001 as cited in Kunkel et al. 2004). Television advertisements access children earlier than the print media due to textural literacy not developing until after children have become regular watchers of television. Advertisers are concerned with the effectiveness of advertisements, with the intention of enhancing the purchase levels of their products, however, there are unintended effects that occur; materialistic attitudes and values, parent-child conflict, body image problems, unhealthy eating habits and the ability to encourage alcohol consumption. This essay

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