Advertisers spend hundreds of billions of dollars every year worldwide encouraging, persuading and also manipulating people to become consumers, but should they be able to market to children? Within the past twenty years since The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) failed to ban marketing to children on television, children have become the focus for marketing and advertisement. A lot of people might wonder why companies should be able to market to young children or why there aren’t more regulations and protections when it comes to advertisement and the young ones. It seem as though children are targeted tremendously because they are easily manipulated and because of the amount of money that is spent on them by adults. They also have influence on their parents due to their nagging and bragging and would constantly cry if what they want isn’t being given to them. For that reason alone, parents typically give in and buy whatever their child desires even when those products aren’t a necessity. Aside from sweets and toys, marketing agencies also concentrate on clothes, shoes, a range of fast foods, sports equipment, and computer products as well as adult products such as credit cards and cars that might be eye popping to most teenagers and many other things children will be eager to have.
Companies make every effort for their products to appear extremely catchy and enticing to children. Whether it’s a minute long commercial or twenty seconds long, sponsors many times go overboard to make what they are trying to sell look exciting and captivating and grab the attention of a child who has a much shorter attention span than most adults. “Cartoon characters they know and like are often used to tell them about a product and make it more attractive. Special effects, filming tricks (such as close-ups, soft lighting and artificial sets) are used to make the product look larger or better than it really is. Repetitions, showing the same thing over and over make them remember and recognize the product. Music, catchy tunes or popular songs make kids like the ad – and the product – more. The ad may tell an interesting story so they would want to keep watching” (MacVean.pg.25). When children are viewing a product advertised using cartoons characters, along with a catchy tune they automatically pay attention to it and thus makes it easier for them to be influenced by the brand. A tremendous amount of money is also shown to be spent on these commercials as they have to use animation which is very pricey as well as a very popular song that the sponsors must pay the the author, as well as the singers or sign a usage agreement with them. In addition to the appearance of ads, companies also spend money on specific categories of products they are selling. (Companies spent about $1.6 billion marketing their products -- mainly soda, fast food, toys, electronics and cereal -- to children in 2010. The biggest category, $492 million, was carbonated-beverage advertising. In contrast, the Milk Processor Education Program -- which sponsors the celebrity-studded "Got Milk?" ads -- spent about $67 million on advertising in 2010) ( Federal Trade Commission). Companies go overboard to advertise to children as they expect to make profit from them. Companies are not the only ones that spend a large sum of money, children who are often manipulated by companies to plead to their parents for get whatever they see on television. (Children have billions of dollars spent on themselves and influenced several billion more to be spent by their parents. The statistics are startling. The average child in the United States watches between 25,000 and 40,000 commercials each year. Advertisers spend $15 to $17 billion to market to U.S. children. In the U.S. teens spend about $160 billion a year, children up to 11 years of age spend about $18 billion a year and those children between the ages of 8-12 influence $30 billion in spending