Thoughts about ads targeting the young children of today?

The average American child watches an estimate between 25,000 to 40,000 television commercials per year. In the UK, it is about 10,000. $15-17 billion is spent by companies advertising to children in the US. Over $4 billion was spent in 2009 by the fast food industry alone. Teens in the US spend around $160... show more The average American child watches an estimate between 25,000 to 40,000 television commercials per year. In the UK, it is about 10,000. $15-17 billion is spent by companies advertising to children in the US. Over $4 billion was spent in 2009 by the fast food industry alone.

Teens in the US spend around $160 billion a year
Children (up to 11) spend around $18 billion a year
“Tweens” (8-12 year olds) “heavily influence” more than $30 billion in other spending by parents, and “80 percent of all global brands now deploy a ‘tween strategy.’”
Children (under 12) and teens influence parental purchases totaling over $130-670 billion a year.

American Medical Association has said that children between the ages of two and seventeen watch an annual average of 15,000 to 18,000 hours of television, compared with 12,000 hours spent per year in school. Children are also major targets for TV advertising, whose impact is greater than usual because there is an apparent lessening of influence by parents and others in the older generation. According to the [Committee on Communications of the American Academy of Pediatrics], children under the age of two should not watch television at all because at that age, brain development depends heavily on real human interactions.

these product preferences can affect children’s product purchase requests, which can put pressure on parents’ purchasing decisions and instigate parent-child conflicts when parents deny their children’s requests. There are concerns regarding certain commercial campaigns primarily targeting adults that pose risks for child-viewers. For example, beer ads are commonly shown during sports events and seen by millions of children, creating both brand familiarity and more positive attitudes toward drinking in children as young as 9-10 years of age. Another area of sensitive advertising content involves commercials for violent media products such as motion pictures and video games. Such ads contribute to a violent media culture which increases the likelihood of youngsters’ aggressive behavior and desensitizes children to real-world violence.

It's not only violence.With such constant bombardment of images of what beauty, perfection etc are all supposed to be, it is no wonder that many related health issues are increasing in younger children, from anxiety and stress to bulimia and anorexia.

The food industry is just as bad. In a detailed study, it found that the fast food industry continues to “relentlessly” market to youth causing health issues such as obesity or even diabetes.

The average preschooler (2-5) sees almost three ads per day for fast food; children (6-11) see three-and-a-half; and teens see almost five.
Children’s exposure to fast food TV ads is increasing, even for ads from companies who have pledged to reduce unhealthy marketing to children.
Children see more than just ads intended for kids. More than 60% of fast food ads viewed by children (2-11) were for foods other than kids’ meals.

And even with all that evidence they all come back with "it's the parent's responsibility. Not ours." Kids not only want things, but have acquired the socially sanctioned right to want—a right which parents are loath to violate. Layered onto direct child enticement and the supposed autonomy of the child-consumer are the day-to-day circumstances of overworked parents: a daily barrage of requests, tricky financial negotiations, and that nagging, unspoken desire to build the life/style they have learned to want during their childhoods.

So thoughts?
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