Over $15 billion a year is spent in advertisements directed toward children in the United States.
Many people are questioning advertising that targets children, arguing that advertising to children is wrong, and that psychologists helping market stuff to kids are acting unethically.
Berkeley, Calif., psychologist Allen D. Kanner, believes that the result of kids exposure to advertising "is not only an epidemic of materialistic values among children, but also a narcissistic wounding."
"Kids have," he says, "become convinced that they're inferior if they don't have an endless array of new products."
Creating Consumers: Advertising To Kids
- The American Psychological Association reports that children under eight years old are not able to critically understand advertisements and that they regard them as truthful, accurate, and unbiased.
- Advertisers consciously try to create a ‘nag factor” by bombarding kids with ads encouraging them to buy certain products in order to become popular. American children ages 12-17 will ask a parent for products they have seen on television an average of nine times until parents finally give in.
- In a national survey, more than half of the children who responded reported that buying certain advertised products made them feel better about themselves.
- Many kids are plugged in to some kind of media for more than seven hours a day, which means their exposure to advertising is at record levels
- The average child in America watches over 40,000 television commercials in a year, or over 100 a day.
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"Psychologists who help advertisers are essentially helping them manipulate children to believe in the capitalistic message, when all the evidence shows that believing in that message is bad for people."