Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

ISSN: 2165-7912

Open Access

Effects of Advertising on Youth (Age Group of 13-19 Years Age)


Barve G, Sood A, Nithya S and Virmani T

One of the controversial topic advertisers must deal with is the issue of advertising to children. Studies have also shown that television is an important source of information for children about products. Critics argue that children are especially vulnerable to advertising because they lack the experience and knowledge to understand and evaluate critically the purpose of the persuasive advertising appeals. They also feel that the pre-school children cannot differentiate between commercials and programmes and cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy. Critics charge threat advertising to children is inherently unfair and deceptive and should be banned. On the other hand are those that advertising is a part of life and children must learn to deal with it in consumer socialization process of acquiring the skills needed to function in the market place. Some feel that parents should be involved in helping children interpret advertising and can refuse to purchase products they believe are undesirable for their children. The issues of advertising directed to children have been receiving great attention recently. There is also a growing concern over how advertisers are using internet to communicate with and sell to children. Advertising to children will remain a controversial topic. Some groups feel that government is responsible for protecting children from potential harmful effects of advertising while others argue that parents are ultimately responsible for doing so. It is important to many companies to communicate directly with children. However only being sensitive to the naiveté of children as consumers will they be able to do so freely and avoid the conflict with those who believe children should be protected from advertising. One group feels that banning television ads will deny advertisers the right of speech to communicate with other audience members. They also feel that no authority has the professional competence to serve as the ‘national nanny’ deciding what children should be exposed to. They say children are aware that fruits and vegetables are more nutritious than the highly sugared foods. There have been attempts to ban sugared food products directed to or seen by children with nutritional and or health disclosures. It is reported that children between the ages of two and eleven spend about 25 hours per week watching television and see approximately 20,000 ads per year and 7,000 of these ads are for sugared products. Realizing that children are imaginative and that make-believe play constitutes an important part of the growingup process. Advertisers should exercise care not to exploit the imaginative quality of children. Unreasonable expectation of product quality or performance should not be stimulated either directly or indirectly by advertising. Recognizing that advertising may play an important part in educating the child, information should be communicated in a truthful and accurate manner with full recognition by the advertiser that the child may learn practices from advertising that can affect his or her health and well-being. The controversy on ads aimed at children has generated an ongoing steam of research on the effects of children’s advertising. Although may influences affect a child’s personal and social development, it remains the prime responsibility of the parents to provide guidance for children. Advertisers should contribute to this parent-child relationship in a constructive manner.


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