The advertisement industry spends an enormous amount of money every year to air publicity programs that target children and young adults. The media have opted to bombard the young audience with the persuasive message that aims at compelling them to do certain things. For example, they make adolescents participate in certain events and consume particular products among other things. It is the most efficient way of influencing the children and young adults because they are exposed to a large number of media sources such as the internet, television, radio just to mention but a few. Through the media technology and other educational sponsored materials, children and youths can be reached while they are in school or at home. However, the message aired by the media is a contemporary issue that is worth scrutinizing. There are numerous questions that have arisen from the advertisement aired on television and other media regarding whether the law should be enacted to govern the ads aired or not. The impact of media message is undeniable since it can be seen when children watch superheroes as they fight and then try to copy their moves as they play. This paper seeks to illustrate that particular laws should be passed to limit advertising of certain products to children and young adults since such messages have an undeniable impact on them.
Certain laws should be enacted to limit or regulate advertisements of particular products because when aired they result in the adverse effect on children and young adults. Within a moment of seconds, most young adults and children are capable of mimicking a movie or a TV character. Furthermore, they are also inclined to sing an advertisement jingle in order to show their peers that they have learned something from the media. Sadly, the mimic may involve taking a beer, smoking, play fighting, and striking a sexy pose among others. Therefore, media have a great contribution towards influencing the children’s conduct and moral value. Such consequences are only a part of the harmful or negative messages that media send to the children and young adult.
First, the laws should be enacted in order to control cigarette advertisement. Message about tobacco use is being aired everywhere in the media. The media brand the tobacco use and present it as an attractive and cool product that does not have unhealthy or deadly effects on the consumers. Ironically, smoking has been associated with strength, love, as well as sporting and concert events. The advertisement aired sends a message to the children and young adults that smoking tobacco makes one fresh, sexy, strong, social, perfect, and athletic. Misleadingly, the advertisement aims at compelling children and adolescents to smoke. Such message is unethical since the media publication does not air the real impacts of smoking. On the contrary, it is targeted to compelling the consumers to buy their product so that the manufacturers can realize enormous profits (Advertising to children, n.d.). Such an advertisement requires to be regulated by enacting laws that overlook the message aired in the media and the truthful information.
Second, the law should also monitor alcohol advertisement. Alcohol advertisements aired are over exaggerated and, therefore, most children and adolescents are compelled to consume it. More than six billion dollars is spent on alcohol promotion and advertisement. In most alcohol advertisements, sexy fun loving images of youths are used depicting successful young people having a luxury life. Unlike tobacco advertisements, which are in a way regulated, alcohol promotion does not encounter law restrictions. Obviously, wine, liquor, and beer advertisements are frequently featured on the prime-time television. Research has indicated that children view approximately one thousand to two thousand alcohol advertisements every year. To increase the effectiveness of adverts among the children and young adults, the advertisement is mostly aired during the teen-oriented sports and show programs. Evidently, alcohol ads dominate fifteen favorite teen-oriented shows. The situation is further stimulated by the fact that children and young adults are five hundred times more likely to view an alcohol advertisement than to consider public service announcement that exposes the negative impacts of taking beer. Therefore, teenagers are less likely to be discouraged from taking alcohol than they drawn into its abuse.
Additionally, most teen-oriented magazines are another medium in which youths are actively engaged. The most highly advertised product in the publications is beer. For example, research has indicated that the magazines contain about forty-five beer advertisement, twenty percent hard liquor ads, and more than ninety percent advertisement regarding alcoholic drinks. Obviously, it is a high rate of the advertisement contained in magazines that target people who are restricted from taking alcohol by the law. Ironically, magazines targeting adults who are of legal drinking age rarely include an alcohol advertisement. Research has revealed that exposure to alcohol ads has a great impact on the viewer. Consequently, the exposure to alcohol has resulted in more affirmative beliefs regarding alcohol consumption. The results of these advertisements have been reflected by the exponential increase in young adulthood and adolescence who have become full-time drunkards. Therefore, laws should be enacted to mitigate exaggerated and unreasonable adverts that are aired targeting to indulge the youths into alcoholism and tobacco abuse.
Furthermore, advertisements of prescription drugs are an alarming issue that has impacted negative conception regarding a particular drug. According to statistics, approximately four billion US dollars are used for advertisement of prescription drugs. Unmistakably, most pharmaceutical companies are spending twice on publicity and promotion than they do on development and research. Most children and young adult have requested for an advertised drug mainly on issues that they do not want to share with their parents and the medical practitioners. Youths get a misconception from such adverts that there are drugs for every occasion and pills meant to cure any form of illness. Such incidents include lowering down substance abused and sexual intercourse. For instance, in the last decade drug companies spent an enormous amount of money to advertise Cialis, Levitra, and Viagra (Advertising to children, n.d.). These adverts marked a significant influence on the youths. However, their outcome among this category of people had devastating impacts. For instance, there were cases of rape, murder, unplanned pregnancies, and abortions among others. Such advertisements ought to be regulated by law because they are exaggerated targeting the easily influenced population, and the impacts are undeniable. Perhaps, instead of capitalizing on such adverts, the government should enact rules that facilitate birth control and condom advert. People should be aware that emergency contraception is rare and haphazard, and thus it remains a controversial issue.
Illegal drugs are another controversial issue that has featured in the media. Though they are rarely encountered on television, some particular famously known programs such as Fox’s That 70’s Show and ShowTime’s Weeds have widely championed illegal drugs. The highly targeted viewers of these programs are the children and the young adults. Harmful consequences emanating from illegal substance abuse dominate almost half of the movie. Marijuana is the most abused drug that has featured in these programs. In the movies, the drug is associated with rich, strong, and handsome people, beautiful women, music celebrities, and heroes. The children and young adults highly emulate such people. Movie research indicated that the film was associated with the increased risk of trying marijuana. Moreover, one should not forget the musicians who smoke while performing, thus, contributing to its promotion. The film developers have little understanding that the humor expressed in the movie weakens normal adolescence fortifications against substance abuse, and, furthermore, it legitimizes their use.
Moreover, the advertisement of associating fatty food to be the solution of thin bodies is another area of concern that influences the children and young adults. On the one hand, the media are heavily promoting unhealthy food. On the contrary, the media are airing message that people need to lose weight so that they have the right appearance. It is a controversial message channeled by the media. The adverts have considerably influenced children, adolescents, and more specifically teen girls. Research has pointed out that most teen girls are worried about their shape and weight. Consequently, most of them have adopted certain diets in their early adolescence. Evidently, not all diets promoted by the media have significant importance in shaping the teen’s body. Therefore, it is evident that the media are promoting the unrealistic image of how people look after taking particular diets. The picture of the individual used in certain adverts is graphically constructed using computers. After individuals take a product associated with such an advert they develop health diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes just to mention but a few. Evidently, these diseases are more frequent in children and young adults. Such incidences call upon the lawmakers to enact policies that will govern how adverts are conducted in the media.
In addition, violence is also portrayed in some advertisements aired in the media. It is argued that children learn about violence at a very tender age. The attitude is acquired from particular adverts and TV programs, and it tends to last for a long time (Advertising to children, n.d.). Research has indicated that violence adverts in the media impact teens and children in diverse harmful ways. From the violent adverts, children are influenced to behave in an aggressive manner towards other people. Such adverts make children have a high acceptance of the violent world and turn out to be less caring about other persons. Furthermore, those children who focus on violence adverts and programs develop fearful attributes towards the real world, and they perceive it as a scary and mean place.
Despite the adverse impacts of advertisement towards the children and the young adults, it does not imply that all the ads aired impacts destructively. Certain advertisements have played a significant role in informing the youths the presence of illegal drugs and its consequences. Children are also in a position to know the presence of illicit drugs in the community and ways one can avoid them. Children and young adults are also able to realize the nature of prescription drugs and make an informed judgment of avoiding them. Therefore, they can distinguish prescription drugs from birth control drugs and condoms; thus, they can avoid predicaments associated with such drugs. Moreover, advertisements have helped to develop career among the youths. For example, children and young adults can learn skills and enumerate characters from the advertisers. Therefore, children and young adults can develop career such as acting and musicians. In addition, adverts help producers to market their products. The consumers are also able to realize the presence of the product in the market (Advertising to children, n.d.). Thus, the laws enacted should not underestimate the significance and importance of advertisement and other media programs.
In conclusion, it is clear that there are negative consequences associated with uncontrolled adverts. Therefore, laws should be enacted to govern how adverts are formulated and aired so that children and young adults are protected from violence, fatty food, health problems, illegal drug use, and alcohol and cigarette abuse among others. Children and adolescents constitute the most affected group of people because most of these adverts are aired during the teen’s programs. Thus, they can easily be drawn into doing things depicted in advertisements. However, the laws enacted should consider the benefits of the advertisement to the consumers and producers, as well as the positive impacts on the youths.