Child Advertising, How Companies Target Children
In the past generation, many companies have been targeting children as their main customers and consumers. Eric Schlosser described them as “kid kustomers”, meaning companies are targeting children in their advertisements and getting them to want their products instead of the parents. On the business side of this, it makes sense. If children want the product due to advertising in a commercial they will be more likely to purchase that product when they become older. Schlosser, the Journal of Adolescent Health Care, and Health Economics give examples of the effects that are caused from child advertising. Personally, I believe it is smart for ...view middle of the document...
First, to legally purchase alcohol and cigarettes you have to be over a certain age, with alcohol 21 and cigarettes 18. Second, if a child were to consume either of these two products it would be detrimental to not only their body but also their mind.
The Journal of Adolescent Health Care conducted a study that found out that children who consumed the advertisements of alcohol companies directed to children had a greater risk to purchase the product when they became older. The results stated “Those brands with higher youth-to-adult viewership ratios were significantly more likely to have a higher percentage of occurrences with addiction content and violations of industry guidelines.” This means that the ads and commercials that are directed to children leads to a higher percentage of underage consumption of those products whether it be alcohol or cigarettes and eventually possible addiction. This is another reason why these advertisements and commercials need to be regulated.
In an article from Health Economics a study was done on what would happen if there were a minor decrease in the amount of advertisements being allowed to be directed to children. The study stated “a 28% reduction in alcohol advertising would reduce adolescent monthly alcohol consumption from 25% to 21%. For binge consumption, the reduction would be from 12% to 8%.” Since this study is only a 28% reduction of advertisement, the results show the connection between advertising, purchasing and consuming the product. This gives us one way we can fix this problem. If we cannot eliminate these advertisements and commercials completely, we should limit the amount of ads and commercials and have them regulated before they are aired. As shown above in the study by Health Economics if we just decrease these ads and commercials by just 28% the decrease in the consumption of these products would be significant.
One opposition that alcohol and cigarette companies could use would be many other companies produce products that are unhealthy for children. For example fast food companies also advertise to children. Schlosser stated how big the connection between fast food companies and children are;
Burger King, Nickelodeon, Denny’s, Major League Baseball, McDonald’s and the Fox Kids Network all have formed a partnership that will show advertisements for fast food companies. Burger King has sold chicken nuggets that are shaped like Teletubbies. (525)
Even though the evidence is clear how these companies are targeting children with toys and not their food, nothing is being done about it. Some responsibility falls on the parents for being the ones who take them to these places and purchase these items...