Ads and kids

Advertising gives children a distorted view of reality, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children see plenty of ads for drugs to treat erectile dysfunction but there are no birth-control ads on television.

Ads for ED drugs give children and teens inappropriate messages about sex and sexuality at a time when they are not being taught well in school sex education programs.

I wonder what messages kids get? I see a lot of ads with cheerful couples but no indication of why they’re so peppy. Are there more explicit ads that I’m missing? Perhaps I watch the wrong shows.

At any rate, the pediatricians want children to be taught “media literacy” so they can analyze ads and tell when they’re being given a pitch. I found out when I got the Casper the Friendly Ghost game for my birthday and realized it did not produce hours of happiness. Minutes, perhaps. But, then, my father worked in “the ad game,” so I may have been prepared for the news.

Via The Psychology of Education.

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  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    A half century ago, a sanitary napkin called Modess had adds of an elegantly gowned woman on a pedstal and just the words “Modess, Because.”

    Boys used to strike a pose, then say Because, and get laughs.

    [you had to be there…]

  2. John from OK says:

    Casper was the very first cartoon I was aware of, in 1964 at two years of age. I was unaware there was a board game.