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Parents and teachers, as members of civil society, have developed strategies to oppose child abusing techniques used by the marketing industry. The struggle to reduce the influence of advertising and violent entertainment on children and teens has led to victories that have obtained little or no coverage by the press. Introduction Over the last half century, while some industries polluted air, water, and food, the marketing industry increasingly poisoned children's cultural environment. After decades of persistent efforts by civil society, governments have been forced to regulate our physical environment. But few governments have shown capacity to regulate the use of marketing that targets children. The increasing power of the media on public opinion has instilled such fear on decision makers that very few have dared to take action. This has left the industry free to decide what children will watch on television, what products will be offered to entertain them, what strategies will be used to manipulate their wishes, desires, values and understanding of life. In other words, to abuse them. With concentration of ownership, a handful of conglomerates now control 85% of all media. (1) These conglomerates have become the "hidden departments of global culture." (2) They control information, which gives them the privilege to decide what parents will learn about the way that the marketing industry abuses kids and teens and the damages it generates. After witnessing the increasing amount of insidious and sophisticated advertising carried by television, more citizens have searched for and experienced ways to protect children from this commercial form of child abuse. The increasing power of the media over children has inspired resistance from parents, teachers, child rights advocates, and citizens in all regions of North America. (3) Some underreported promising practices have been experienced in Canada and in the U.S. The Purpose of Television Television does not exist primarily to inform and entertain. Television is basically a commercial industry that sells viewers to advertisers. Patrick Le Lay, President and Director of French TV network TF1, declared in 2004 that the role of television is essentially to sell brain time to Coca-Cola. (4) To maximize benefits, broadcasters constantly search for various ways attract and sell more viewers to advertisers who will then agree to pay more to reach them. This type of business is frightening when those for sale are children. (5) Television sells young audiences to advertisers who hire doctors of psychology (6) to learn how to attract children, how to keep them glued and addicted to the tube, how to transform their desires into needs, how to influence their preferences, and teach them how to nag their parents. To understand the importance of advertising for marketers, citizens need to know that commercial messages often cost up to 10 times more to produce than the program we watch despite the fact that they fill only 20% of air time. In North America today, advertisers spend more than $20 billion per year to reach children, which represents an increase of 2000% in less than...
Source Citation (MLA 8 th Edition)
Brodeur, Jacques. "To protect children from a child abusive industry, legislation, education, and public mobilisation required." Taboo, Spring-Winter 2008, p. 93+. Academic OneFile, Accessed 22 May 2018.
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