Advertising in the 21st century has become more competitive and aggressive toward children. They are being inundated by advertising at a very young age through television, radio, internet, and teen magazines. Children are vulnerable marketing targets: easy to manipulate and posse the power of persuasion over parents. They take things literally and can’t discriminate between the real and imaginary features of products. Companies are exploiting children as consumers which have become profitable business. Advertising directly to children is damaging and has had a negative impact on them and in my opinion, it’s unethical. Obesity in children is a serious problem in America and can partially be attributed to advertising. Fast food commercials constantly advertise unhealthy meals that are high in sugar, fat, salt and calories to children. They are enticed by offering novelty toys from the latest movie or popular kids show. Most of these advertisements are shown repeatedly during hours when children are watching television; especially, on Saturday mornings when cartoons are airing.
Advertising promotes materialism and superficiality among children. Children can feel sad if they don’t have the latest or newest products which can lower their self esteem. The hidden message advertisers relay to children through their advertising is happiness, success and social status can come if you posse a certain type of product. Children believe they need to have the product at all cost and will nag the parent until the parent gives in. Advertisers relay on this to boost sales, which is called the “pester power or nagging power.” Psychologist Allen D. Kanner believes this is a serious problem and in the article “Advertising to children: Is it ethical?” by Rebecca Clay she quotes, “According to Kanner, the result is not only an epidemic of materialistic values among children, but also something he...
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