Across America in the homes of the rich, the not-so-rich, and in poverty-stricken
homes and tenements, as well as in schools and businesses, sits advertisers' mass marketing
tool, the television, usurping freedoms from children and their parents and changing
American culture. Virtually an entire nation has surrendered itself wholesale to a medium
for selling. Advertisers, within the constraints of the law, use their thirty-second
commercials to target America's youth to be the decision-makers, convincing their parents
to buy the advertised toys, foods, drinks, clothes, and other products. Inherent in this
targeting, especially of the very young, are the advertisers; fostering the youth's loyalty to
brands, creating among the children a loss of individuality and self-sufficiency, denying
them the ability to explore and create but instead often encouraging poor health habits. The
children demanding advertiser's products are influencing economic hardships in many
families today. These children, targeted by advertisers, are so vulnerable to trickery, are so
mentally and emotionally unable to understand reality because they lack the cognitive
reasoning skills needed to be skeptical of advertisements.
Children spend thousands of
hours captivated by various advertising tactics and do not understand their subtleties.
Though advertisers in America's free enterprise system are regulated because of societal
pressures, they also are protected in their rights under freedom of expression to unfairly
target America's youth in order to sell to their parents, regardless of the very young's
inability to recognize the art of persuasion.
In the free enterprise system, the advertiser's role is to persuade consumers to buy
their products/services. They are given a product/service and are required to use their best
creative effort to make this product desirable to the intended audience (Krugman 37).
Because of this calculated and what many deem as manipulative way of enticing the target
audience, the advertising industry is...