“Advertising plays an important role in society. It equally goes hand in hand with special responsibilities. We recognize that our responsibility and commitment is especially important for advertising to children of all ages (Responsible).” In spite of this common concern of
advertising’s effect on children, around the world, journals, committees, and scientists are suggesting that marketers targeting advertising towards a child is unethical.
Children are watching more television today than years ago, and therefore viewing more commercials. One study suggests that children in America are spending more time watching television each year than they are spending in school (Bagdikian). The American Academy of Pediatrics says within their web site that they believe that advertising to children is deceptive. Studies have shown that children recall ads on television whether it is a commercial for a toy or a product placement in a movie. Children are even remembering and able to identify the alcohol and tobacco ads that are geared toward their parents.To change the effects on children—their want for unhealthy fast food, the insistence on having the latest toys, and a growing dependability on material items - there are thoughts of creating laws to prohibit advertising marketed towards children. Already in Europe, there are laws in place to regulate advertising to this young market. Article 16 of the Television Without Frontiers Directive gives guidelines that include:
a. it shall not directly exhort minors to buy a product or a service by exploiting their inexperience or credulity;
b. it shall not directly encourage minors to persuade their parents or others to purchase the goods or services being advertised;
c. it shall not exploit the special trust minors place in parents, teachers or other persons;
d. it shall not unreasonably show minors in dangerous situations.