Advertising For Children Under

Advertising For Children Under 12 Years Should Be Banned

Advertisements convince these young children that having when compared to being is more important. The constant bombardment to children, of the adult voice of advertising dictates at every single moment how one should be, what they should have, and further whom one should look like so that they can be accepted socially. Through this, little by little, children stop defining themselves by whom they are and start defining themselves by what they have and as such immersing themselves in in compulsive consumerism. Through this, a void is created within a child from a young age which they will always try to fill with products and services (Sheehan, 2013). Through this way, relations that are emotional become measured by relations between consumers. In a bid to avoid loneliness and rejection, children have the tendency of revealing just what is hoped of them. The more the use of this mechanism is pursued by children, the more difficult it becomes for them to deprive themselves off the masks they created to deal with the conflicts. The fact that they are able to adapt to the brands, concepts and fads imposed by advertising stems from this fear. In a bid to profit from the fragility, child marketing knows and researches the fragility.

Advertising for children has also been fabricating an empty concept of happiness among the children. Advertising that is directed towards children has been developing in a manner that is inconsequent and with the inappropriate control of the society, unfortunately. The advertisements advanced slowly, and uncontested and as such today it is quite hard to mark out the limits of the advertisements. Marketing for children is not in any way concerned with the disastrous consequences that bad habits bring about in the future (Panic, Cauberghe and De Pelsmacker 2013). With all advertising eyes fixed firmly on profits, advertising for young children under the age of 12 years has been contributing to the creation of a world that is not sustainable. In it, the habit of consumption and the happiness concept are linked for the sake of quick disposal and also for the sake of consumption and this is because complete satisfaction is not offered by the object.


Presently, 35% of the children population in the world is affected by obesity (Le Blanc, 2015). Advertising without a doubt is one of the factors that has been contributing to this increase in obesity in children. Advertisement from time to time develop ideas that are more dazzling aimed at keeping children captivated of the consumerist appeals (Pettigrew, 2013). The advertising endeavour is very huge such that presently, almost 50% of the adverts in Australia that are aimed at children relate to food. Of these foods, 80% are unhealthy products that are high in fats, salt and sugar (Moriarty et al., 2014). Rarely are healthy items like spinach, broccoli, manioc and carrots advertised. Advertising keeps children prisoners of messages and as such aggravating the risks of childhood obesity in addition to being an invitation to children with a series of perceptions that are illusory promising to make the children happier, more beautiful, successful or more intelligent. Advertising also passes across messages that are contradictory which contribute to the imbalance of the metabolism of a child and also their emotional structure. From time to time, inducing children into ingesting unlimited products that are high in calories, and at times even presenting thinness as a health standard. Lacking the appropriate ability to gain a good understanding of the perverse entanglement in which children are involved, most young children perceive the foods attractive offers with immediate anxiety releases (Boyland and Halford, 2013). As a result of this, children begin eating in search of fulfilment of the emptiness that comes from lack of an emotional contact that is genuine. In conditions like this, children are not able to apply themselves to their studies nor appropriately relate with their peers and they may be observed to isolate themselves and with this, the trap of compulsive consumerism is formed.

First, childhoods should be preserved, because childhoods that are cared for and preserved are the basis of adult lives that are healthy. Children learn to exercise their creativity whenever they are playing, they also learn how to exercise their innate talents and through this build their personalities in ways that are ludic and pleasant. Prematurely entering into the adult world, children do not have the psychological and physical structures of controlling their impulses, defending their rights, demanding respect or even less so identifying within themselves desires that are genuine to have relations that are sexual (Díaz-Bustamante-Ventisca and Llovet-Rodríguez, 2017). As such, through inducing children into desiring what they never knew they could desire and through adopting values that are artificial and distorted, advertising interferes with childhood and as such contributing to changes in the natural course of student development. Secondly, most of the children seek means of guaranteeing their emotional and physical survival. As such, young children would do anything to please those people they are dependent on. This is largely as a result of a natural dependency that children have on adult examples. This is usually referred to as the phase of intellectual and moral heteronomy. Advertising offers children services, products and ideas that are not compatible with their age (Schor, 2014). This carrying forward of the adult phase is detrimental to childhood as it devalues it because it convinces children that their sensual composure and physical attributes can assist them in obtaining whatever they want.

Children experience advertising in many different forms –on YouTube, radio, Apps, TV, billboards, the internet, movies, newspapers, social media, text messages and more (Kasser and Linn, 2016). There should be an immediate end to all advertising meant for children under the age of 12 years. Currently, the advertising industry is allowed to turn techniques whose design is meant for adult desires and emotions on to children who are young something that is very wrong.

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  • Boyland, E.J. and Halford, J.C., 2013, ‘Television advertising and branding. Effects on eating behaviour and food preferences in children,’ Appetite, 62(2013), pp.236-241.
  • Díaz-Bustamante-Ventisca, M., and Llovet-Rodríguez, C., 2017, ‘Empowerment or impoverishment of children from social networks? Perceptions of sexualized images of girls in Instagram,’ El Professional de la Información (EPI), 26(1), pp.77-87.
  • Kasser, T. and Linn, S., 2016, ‘Growing up under corporate capitalism: The problem of marketing to children, with suggestions for policy solutions,’ Social Issues and Policy Review, 10(1), pp.122-150.
  • LeBlanc, A.G., Katzmarzyk, P.T., Barreira, T.V., Broyles, S.T., Chaput, J.P., Church, T.S., Fogelholm, M., Harrington, D.M., Hu, G., Kuriyan, R., and Kurpad, A., 2015, ‘Correlates of total sedentary time and screen time in 9–11 year-old children around the world: the international study of childhood obesity, lifestyle and the environment,’ PloS ONE, 10(6), p.e0129622. Moriarty, S., Mitchell, N.D., Wells, W.D., Crawford, R., Brennan, L., and Spence-Stone, R., 2014, Advertising: Principles and Practice, Pearson Australia.
  • Panic, K., Cauberghe, V., and De Pelsmacker, P., 2013, ‘Comparing TV ads and advergames targeting children: the impact of persuasion knowledge on behavioural responses,’ Journal of Advertising, 42(2-3), pp.264-273. Panic, K., Cauberghe, V., and De Pelsmacker, P., 2013, ‘Comparing TV ads and advergames targeting children: the impact of persuasion knowledge on behavioural responses,’ Journal of Advertising, 42(2-3), pp.264-273.
  • Pettigrew, S., Tarabashkina, L., Roberts, M., Quester, P., Chapman, K., and Miller, C., 2013, ‘The effects of television and Internet food advertising on parents and children,’ Public Health Nutrition, 16(12), pp.2205-2212.
  • Schor, J.B., 2014, Born to buy: The commercialized child and the new consumer cult, Simon and Schuster.
  • Sheehan, K.B., 2013, Controversies in contemporary advertising, Sage Publications.

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