How Advertising Affects Children
The former pope of the Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II, once said, “Young people are threatened... by the evil use of advertising techniques that stimulate the natural inclination to avoid hard work by promising the immediate satisfaction of every desire” (“BrainyQuote”). Advertising is messages that persuade an audience to change ideals or behavior in some way. Advertisings are expressed on billboards, posters, television commercials, product logos, and magazines/newspapers (History of Advertising 2). In the late 1800s, advertisers started creating illustrated characters to convey meaningful ideas or stories for the products (Walsh 9). American children spend about 4.5 hours each day watching television, and an average child sees more than 40,000 commercials a year (Television, Commercials, and Your Child 2). Even though some ads can be educational and can encourage people to buy their products, advertising to children should be regulated because people think happiness is the same as owning things, advertisers are contributing to the sexualization of children, and harmful products such as fast food, tobacco, and alcohol are all shown as enticing to children.
Thus, people think that happiness is the same as owning things, but really its not. Advertisers often try to link products with feelings of happiness. Since people are placed in a setting that connotes wealth and material success, it is easy to imagine how children can easily develop the idea that becoming rich is extremely important to their future happiness. For example, Barbie dolls are show how younger girls want the life Barbie has. The advertisers manipulate children into buying things that will complete their live because they think that younger kids are more likely to believe anything they hear or see in ads. Kids are not experienced enough to know what is actually being advertised to them. Of course, children will never be happy with what they have because...
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