Essay about The Exploitation Of Children In Television Advertising

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The Exploitation Of Children In Television Advertisements

Across America in homes, schools, and businesses, sits advertisers' mass marketing tool, the television, usurping freedoms from children and their parents and changing American culture. Virtually an entire nation has surrendered itself wholesale to a medium for selling. Advertisers, within the constraints of the law, use their thirty-second commercials to target America's youth to be the decision-makers, convincing their parents to buy the advertised toys, foods, drinks, clothes, and other products. Inherent in this targeting, especially of the very young, are the advertisers; fostering the youth's loyalty to brands, creating among the children a loss of individuality and
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The question many assert is should the government be allowed to monitor what is legitimate simply because some do not approve (Hernandez
34). This question requires value judgments that can only be answered through constructing public policy (Kunkel 58). Most people in society recognize that television advertising directed towards children is excessive, manipulative and takes unfair advantage of children
(Kunkel 60).
In a recent survey from the researcher, it was documented that 80% of adults with children wanted governmental regulation to protect children from television advertising
(See Appendix 1). Research in the social science fields such as psychology and communication documents how the child interprets a given television advertisement.
Findings indicate for one, the majority of children up to age five "experience difficulty distinguishing perceptually between programs and commercials" (Kunkel 62). It is noted that children at this young age tend to treat all television content as a unidimensional type of message. For instance, child viewers do not begin to discriminate between fantasy or reality dimensions of television content at the most basic levels until grade school.
Advertisers compound this issue by using perceptual similarities in program content and commercial content which adds to the difficulty children already have in distinguishing between the two variables. Secondly, the study

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