Parents all over the world treat their children as their number one priority, and they are often obsessed with the child's protection, be it from an illness, danger and even certain people. Despite all this protection, we allow our children to be allured into the 'wonderful' world of advertising. From such an early age we are told by our parents 'don't talk to strangers'. How is it that after 30 seconds of TV, associating products with our favourite characters or even glancing at a poster in the street, our children are instantly convinced by the strangers of the world of advertising?
There are two types of products on which manufacturers are willing to spend millions of euros convincing children to demand that their parents buy them. The first is the massive and very powerful food and drinks industry. From a very early age children are bombarded with images of food and drink on TV, in newspapers and magazines, on the internet and even at the cinema in a technique known as product placement.
I think it is wrong to advertise food and drink to children as they have not developed the skills necessary to judge whether these products contain too much salt or sugar or whether they can form part of a healthy and balanced diet. Also food and drinks should not be associated with popular programmes or cartoon characters. Supermarkets also adopt techniques such as placing sweets and chocolate near the checkout at children's' eye level so that they demand that their parents buy them, in a technique known as "pester power".
One of the major threats to our health is obesity, and childhood obesity is a growing problem in the western world. In addition a lot of the sugary drinks aimed at children damage growing teeth. Advertising of food and drinks aimed at children should be banned and parents should choose how to provide their children with a healthy diet and which treats they should occasionally be given. The second type of product aimed at children are "aspirational" goods such as toys, designer clothes, video games, mobile phones and other electronic goods.
Once again I think there are major hidden dangers associated with this type of advertising. It is wrong that a child should associate success with the ownership of such "must have" goods. A child can suffer serious self esteem issues if he or she does not have the "right" phone or trainers, for example. The advertising also puts unnecessary pressure on parents, they may feel inadequate if they cannot afford to buy the products demanded by their kids. Some parents can even get into serious debt in order to buy the goods advertised. Once again I think that this type of advertising aimed at children should be banned.
I believe children should be free of all advertising and manipulation, and to all the gold-digging business men who devote their lives to brainwashing our children to becoming slaves to these enterprises, Target the parent, not the seven-year old. If you're product is not good enough to allure a grown up, make something better! I believe most parents would agree that what advertising is doing to our children is wrong. We have the power to stop this and let our children grow up and be free of being left out or with an obesity problem until they're old enough to make their own decisions. Let's all ban advertising aimed at children now.