Do You Think Advertising to Children Should Be Banned Essay
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Do you think advertising to children should be banned? Why or why not? It is an established fact that companies might benefit from right understanding of the children’s role in purchasing process. It is considered to be the case adults are loyal to those brands which they are used to enjoy in their childhood. Moreover, getting elder, children may influence their parents quite deeply. Parents tend to work more and earn more to make up the deficiency of the time to spend with their children by making some purchases.
Thus, effective advertising addressed to the young audience is in the interests of manufactures. Due to a possible harmful effect on children advertising is the subject of wide speculation: whether it should be banned or not. It is important to find out which groups of children run the risk. Many researches describing human socialization’s process divide it in several similar stages (Table 1). This division is very relative, but not devoid of sense.
The summarized stage from birth to 2 years is not significant for consideration due to lack of ability to distinguish between commercials and other TV programs which appears in the second stage (2 – 6 years). In this stage, children don’t tend to deconstruct contradictions in their opinions and are not able to tend difference between their own belief and another point of view thrust on them. At the age of 6 – 8, children are aware of existence of opinions which may differ from their own beliefs, but do not exhibit the ability to actually think from another person’s perspective. At the fourth stage (9 – 10 years), children are able to accept another point of view, but are not able to consider situations as an impartial side. Children at this stage are able to understand advertising intent and recognize bias in advertising.
However, they have no defenses against advertising. At the final stage (since 11 years), teenagers are able to set up hypotheses and take into account all possible options. They have already got some knowledge of advertising tactics and appeals. As evident from this analysis, the most defenseless element here is children aged by eight. However, they are allowed to make just a simple consumer choice and strictly limited financial resources. As for elder children, they have more substantial financial recourses and considerable freedom. Besides, they may influence parents’ choice in areas such as electronic devices etc.
Some people argue for ban against advertising. Nevertheless, there are some refutations of necessity to ban it. For example, younger children rely in their choice most on in-store experience rather than information introduced by adds. As for teenagers, they tend to use alternative sources of information, parental advice or peers’ opinions. Most researchers believe that some people have not got the certain characteristics of the final stage even during adulthood. The question arises as to not just advertising to children, but advertising to everyone. In my opinion, the most reasonable way is to control (or even ban in certain cases) advertising of goods such as cigarettes, alcohol and non-nutritious foods.