Advertising targets the consumer and ensures that the customers consume their products and services (Chetan 613). Therefore, these advertising agencies use different media to advertise these products and services to their audiences. This media includes television, radio, magazine, billboards and many others. Therefore, these adverts have aroused public interests on whether some of these adverts are good for children putting in mind that the cognitive of children is not able to perceive some of the ads in the right way. This, therefore, comes to a question of moral ethics in the advertisements.
Alcohol ads portrayal and exposure through television affects children in a negative way. These children are not able to distinguish between the realities in these ads hence distorting their worldviews. Many children actually may be pushed towards testing alcohol after they have seen these ads. For instance, in the circumstances that the ads portray certain brand of alcohol as energetic and refreshing, children may be tempted to try them out and see whether actually it is true. Children often like trying out by experimenting and when they hear that these drinks have some positive attributes as communicated in the ads, they develop anxiety to find out these allegations. Hence, it is true that these ads may influence behaviors among children.
As a matter of fact that these ads may influence negative behavior among children is the exposure of children of violent media contents. This triggered violent behaviour among children, as they wanted to experiment. According to Chetan, approximately 70% of alcohol, illicit drugs and tobacco ads are advertised on the television. These ads are used in music and movies and the fact that children like music and movies, they face a big challenge as they hear and imitate what they observe and catch. This affects them afterwards in their lives to come.
According to Russell, Dale, and Grube television programming are notorious in portraying alcohol products. A study on the prime time in television found out that approximately 71% of all the adverts depicted alcohol use, while almost 80% have mentioned on its consumption. This is an alarming statistics, putting in mind that children are watching television at this particular time. The television ads are marred with many ads on alcohol without thinking about the effects such ads do to them. This elicits mixed reactions to whether media owners, manufacturers, and the advertisers consider the repercussion they cause to the cognitive of children in their quest to get high profits. For example, a series known as Two and a Half Men was confirmed to carry contents, which was of concern to young audiences (Russell, Dale, and Grube 93) (as cited in Posnenr 2009).
According to Russell, Dale, Grube media, and especially television sometimes complicates issues in alcohol advertising; sometimes they portray consumption of alcohol as positive while on other occasions as negative. Furthermore, most ads that run ads on alcohol normally treat drinking as humorous effect and associate it with outcomes like camaraderie (93). These kinds of portrays confuse the minds of children who make decision to drink in the pursuit of emulating and feeling the way media portrays.
According to Melissa, an average child watches and approximate of 40,000 television commercials in every day in reference to the statistics from the American Association Report (2). These ads are many and are not sifted to suit a given category of children hence posing a threat to these children. Therefore, children getting access to these ads and their thrilling messages motivate them towards drinking hence impacting on their psychology. These children, grow knowing that taking alcohol is not a bad thing.
As a measure to control these ads by television, several countries have set laws that govern advertisements of alcoholic beverages on the media more so on television. Some of these laws require advertisement of alcoholic related products in specific times that children are not watching television or by giving warnings on the limits of age and the effects of drinking among many other laws. However, many countries have not yet adapted to these laws and others flout the same laws. Yes, indeed these ads are good as they help in reducing child exposure to alcoholic ads, but they orient children to be future drunker. Some children may develop an affinity of drinking in future hence leading to increase in rates of drinkers in a country.
Government, media owners, and advertising agents should put their efforts together on the best approaches in advertising their products to safeguard the young generation from alcohol ads. The effects of children succumbing to drunkenness are high if appropriate measures are not put in place to regulate television ads. The morals of our children are in danger especially at this 21th century where technology is in every village across the world. Remember that prevention is better than cure. All that is required is ethical broadcasting aimed at fostering moral standards of the society through good child nurturing and orientations.
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