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Do you think that advertising should be restricted?

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Advertising is beginning to dominate today’s society, brainwashing young, vulnerable viewers. Advertising has and will affect everyone, whether it’s a new facial wash on a TV advert or the latest mobile phone on a billboard, each uses the same manipulation technique to persuade the viewer. Advertising has always affected people of many ages in both positive and negative ways, so why is it only now that people are beginning to question it? Should advertising be restricted, and if so, to what extent, and who decides?

Many people argue that brands, such as Adidas, or Nike are influencing children as young as seven to become brand conscious and materialistic, using idols and celebrities to advertise their product. Although, it is also said that children will, and always have asked for everything they see. Which is true, how many children do you know that can walk around the supermarket without asking for at least one thing? How will children see the product if it is not advertised, and is this a good thing?

Young children look up to celebrities and older children, when these people are seen doing certain things, and dressed in a particular style, automatically the child wants to look/be like them. This factor is why you may see a nine year old girl walking down the street in a mini skirt and heels acting ten years older! However this does encourage the child to become more mature, and will benefit them and their surrounding peers, but it also encourages paedophilia. It can also be argued that if the parents don’t mind their child dressing like this, then nothing can be done, after all, its is up to the parents what their child wears.

One of the main factors that have caused this advertising concern is the increase in obesity within young children in the last five years. This is believed by many to be caused by the fact that major fast food companies, such as McDonalds are using celebrities to engage children into their adverts and persuade them to buy their food. This is another example of children copying their idols. The health risks of eating this product are not advertised but research shows that there is a strong link between this poor diet and children constantly becoming ill.

Parents are currently not in control of what adverts their children can and cannot see. Some parents may not want their child to see certain adverts when they are at a young age, such as speeding adverts, showing children’s death as this may upset them; however, children also need to be made aware of the dangers.

To conclude I think that adverts should be restricted but only to a certain extent. I think it would be helpful to our society, to not advertise fatty foods such as McDonalds, especially using celebrities, and with these adverts, a law should be passed to make sure that legally a health warning is issued, ensuring both the parents and children know the dangers of obesity. I also think that advertisements for help lines such as Child line and NSPCC should be advertised more. However, if too many adverts are banned, it could cause people to lose their jobs and there could be a cut down on children’s programmes. This could happen as a lot of the money made in advertising is put back into children’s programmes. ITV takes in £40 million per year just from advertising alone.

Losing this could have a major affect of the quality of television. I also think that there should be little/no restriction on the advertising of clothes. I know it is argued that it encourages paedophilia, but it is up to the parents what the child wears and I think that advertising would have little affect in this particular case. Adverts for speeding and the results of smoking may seem scary to children, but it is reality, and I think that the need to see these adverts to fully understand the dangers. It may scare a few children but it may also save lives, which I think is more important

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