Children and Advertising
Children are bombarded by advertising these days. The "marketing machine" may be influencing your child more than you know. Here are some surprising facts about children and advertising, according to the National Institute on Media and the Family:
With children either spending or influencing $500 billion worth of purchases, marketing techniques have been turned upside down. In the past, the most effective way to sell children's products was through parents. Now the opposite is true. Children are the focal point for intense advertising pressure seeking to influence billions of dollars of family spending. Advertisers are aware that children influence the purchase not just of kids' products, but of everything in the household from cars to toothpaste. So these "adult" products are being paired with kid-oriented logos and images.
With children's increased access to new communication technologies being paired with the fast pace and busy schedules of today's families, parents are less able to filter out the messages from the advertising world.
Television remains a focal point for children's media entertainment. The FCC's (Federal Communication Commission) "Three Hour Rule" requires that broadcasters air a minimum of three hours a week of educational and informational (E/I) television for children. However, studies have shown that the amount of violence in children's shows remains high and that not all children's programming deserves the E/I label.
Some tips to foster healthy media use include:
- To prevent impulse watching, use the TV guide before turning on the set.
- Videotape TV shows for your child, so they have a backup when there is nothing appropriate on the television for them to watch.
- Children need active play to promote their developmental, physical and social skills. (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Keep television sets out of children's bedrooms.
- Two hours of quality television programming per day is the maximum recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
For more information, go to www.mediafamily.org.