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Advertising to Children By Connor R Sullivan Children represent a great target for advertisers and marketers across the world. Not only are they easily swayed by advertising, they are great at encouraging parents to buy these products. If a child wants something in their kid's locker, they will prod and annoy their parents until their decorative shelving has what they want. Anyone who has seen a kid pester their parents knows the lengths kids can go to, and all it takes is a little suggestion from a single advertisement to send them on their way. The food company of McDonald's at one stage advised employees to specifically target children. In a campaign titled, "Kid's are the Star" employees were encouraged to pay special attention to the children in the restaurant, and make sure they have a positive experience while they are eating at McDonald's. The reason for this, naturally, was not because the McDonald's corporation cares deeply about the well being of children everywhere, but that the pesterpower that children have is extraordinarily effective at bringing parents back. The way that advertisers target children is simple. Big, bright lights, happy people and animated characters are all that is needed to encourage children into thinking a certain product is something they want. This is because children are so naïve; they genuinely believe what an advertiser tells them about the place they are selling. They do not realize that Ronald McDonald is just a guy in a costume and makeup, and that out the back of every McDonald's are a bunch of kids working in uncomfortable conditions for low pay. It brings up a real moral dilemma for those who make the advertising decisions, or at least it should. While manipulating children into believing lies, especially encouraging them to eat unhealthy foods, is obviously bad, the money that can potentially be made is just so good. How do you say no to an opportunity to have such a wide audience of children, who act as advertisers themselves when they encourage other children and their parents to use a certain product? One of the problems with today's society is we think in terms such as those used in the paragraph above. There is a belief that the impact on children in experiencing damaging media can be "weighed up" against how much money can be made and power can be gained. When thinking like this is involved, it is no wonder the world of today is rife with so many problems. The superficial reactions they get from eating McDonald's last about as long as they are at the place. This is not a coincidence; it is a deliberately created ploy. The goal is that kids arrive and consume high amounts of caffeine, salt, sugar and fat. Their body gives an instant positive reaction, and by the time they're "coming down", you're on the way home. If you want what's best for your kids, keep them away from the television as much as you possibly can. It is bad for their brain, and ultimately bad for your wallet! Take them outside, not to McDonald's but to the beach or somewhere they can enjoy life.
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