General Article Advertising and children

Topic Selected: Consumerism
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Images of children often appear in advertisements, both those designed to sell children's products and those designed to persuade adults to buy anything from car insurance to carpets. Further, it's not only products that are advertised in this way; charities and health agencies regularly use images of neglected and damaged children in their advertising to powerful effect.

The effect of advertising on children and the use and portrayal of children in advertisements are sensitive issues. The advertising standards code are the responsibility of an industry body called the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP). The codes lay down strict rules on advertising and children. This rule book is used by the Advertising Standards Authority to judge if an ad is acceptable when investigating complaints.

Common issues surrounding children and advertising are:

  • Making children desire things they cannot afford or would not be able to use.
  • Pester power: encouraging children to pester ...

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