Ive sent oil

Ok, so, this time I’m not going to mention it, or even soil it, lest evils toe in. Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, has released a policy statement on Children, Adolescents, and Advertising.

I note evils in the abstract:

Advertising is a pervasive influence on children and adolescents. Young people view more than 40 000 ads per year on television alone and increasingly are being exposed to advertising on the Internet, in magazines, and in schools. This exposure may contribute significantly to childhood and adolescent obesity, poor nutrition, and cigarette and alcohol use. Media education has been shown to be effective in mitigating some of the negative effects of advertising on children and adolescents.

In fact, while the article notes its one evil after another, the authors continue to tie on veils. I’m not wanting to slag their research, I don’t doubt that kids in the USA are finding their viewing lives tie on 55 minutes of advertising per day (that’s assuming each of the 40,000 ads are only 30 seconds long). After all those years of how the soviet line (its vile one) envies toil?

According to the article, the Children’s Television Act of 1990 (Pub L No. 101–437) limits advertising on children’s programming to 10.5 minutes/hour on weekends and 12 minutes/hour on weekdays. Which means on average the kids are clipping out about 4.5 hours on a weekday, 5.5 on the weekend. To say nothing of the prime time when nearly 16 minutes an hour are allowed. O vile inset! Or should that be an olive inset in the underwear of the nation?

This is no vile site, why do I give a rat’s nono? I guess it goes back to when I was doing my MComms – I researched the cigarette advertising particularly to female target markets. Although we’ve all come a long way since then – I think you might guess which company was front and centre. Love ties in, of course, but in the end I concluded I was looking in the face of Satan.

Why?

It’s easy to make a product and sell it.

If the product was bad, you’d fix it, replace it, or refund it. Easy.

If you knew the product was bad, and you continued to sell it, you’re either unscrupulous, or stupid, or both.

If your product turned out to be not bad, but dangerous; you’d pull it, apologise, compensate, and back off.

If you know your product is dangerous, but you continue to promote it in every way, say spending $US30 million/day ($US11.2 billion/year), in cases specifically targeted at teenagers as young as 13 years of age, despite overwhelming evidence of the dangerous nature of your product; then I say you’re looking in the face of something fundamentally evil.

Bizarrely, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ solution is –

One solution that is noncontroversial and would be easy to implement is to educate children and teenagers about the effects of advertising—media literacy. Curricula have been developed that teach young people to become critical viewers of media in all of its forms, including advertising. Media education seems to be protective in mitigating harmful effects of media, including the effects of cigarette, alcohol, and food advertising.

In the same article the authors note that ‘Research has shown that young children—younger than 8 years—are cognitively and psychologically defenseless against advertising.‘ So, somehow, gullible US youngsters are going to become media hip, astute consumers. I predict by the turn of the decade interactive tv will have kids clicking off the boring tv programming in search of the baddist love in site on the net. The American Academy of Pediatrics seriously proposes that this will be possible in the next three years when it hasn’t been achieved to date with Mommy and Daddy. There is no evidence that the possible negative health effects of television viewing on children and adolescents, such as violent or aggressive behavior, substance use, sexual activity, obesity, poor body image, and decreased school performance can be addressed in any sustainable way by media education.

As though somehow enough sponges will mop up the flood, when in fact, flood gates are what’s needed. Well, you’ve got it now, 24-7 mass media marketing. Are the results worth it? Are our communities stronger, our people healthier, wealthier, wiser? Or are our most vulnerable seedlings for the continuation of our culture being stunted by violent or aggressive behavior, substance use, sexual activity, obesity, poor body image, and decreased school performance?

Media education. Yeah right.

Do they seriously think that after being exposed to a lifetime of continuing media education – 55 minutes a day, 365 days a year, every year of your young life; that some classroom delivered media education will be an effective approach to mitigating these problems? So, why do the authors continue to tie on veils? Perhaps the answer is to be found here.

Special thanks – I’m not so smart that I could do it by myself – it’s the malaria gin, you know.

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