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Monday, January 23, 2012

Negative influence of ads on children and why parents need to teach them to become wise consumers?

As parents or guardians we needs to educate ourselves and our kids about the purpose of ads.
We need to train them to become wise consumers to make healthy choices. We can help your kids get better at assessing ad messages by encouraging them to talk with you about what the ads are really trying to say.

A Stanford University study had kids taste food in McDonald packaging and unmarked packaging and asked which they preferred. The kids preferred the McDonald packaged food not realizing that they went for it because they were conditioned to believe "it must taste good."
Advertising campaign can affect a child's social, emotional and physical health, in various ways like:
  • Advertising can encourage a child to believe that his/her personality and likeability can be expressed in things.
  • Excessive materialism can affect the development of children's self-image and values.
  • Aggressive marketing of fast food commercials featuring candy and soft drinks contributes to overweight.                         
Advertising is powerful – that’s why companies pay millions for it – and it is especially effective on kids.
Troubling about all this advertising exposure is that young kids are not so good at telling fact from fiction. They don’t understand that the ad’s purpose is to sell, and they often accept advertising claims and images as the truth.

Teaching kids how to look at advertisements with a critical eye for the truth can be very effective in reducing some of the negative effects of advertising.

Intention and purpose of advertisers:
Advertisers target at children because of their high disposable income, their early establishment of loyalty to certain brands and a conventional wisdom that young adults buy products on impulse. Many parents and critics fear that children are susceptible to commercial appeals because young viewers lack the necessary cognitive skills to process the highly persuasive messages and make appropriate judgements about them.

Educators and researchers have attempted to design programs that will teach children about the intent of advertisements and help children construc defenses from commercial messages. To get more information about it you may search at following sites:

Helpful websites

Don't Buy It! Negative effect of advertisement on children
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