For many years now, television advertising aimed at children has not been allowed in Swedish terrestrial television because of its perceived negative impact on children. Just recently, McDonald’s has been under attack for its seeming lack of responsibility in luring children into buying their “unhealthy” Happy Meals by offering it with toys. O’Brien states that McDonald’s has been accused of “deceptive marketing to children” (2011). Today, all over the world there are calls to totally ban all forms of advertising to children. There are many opposing views presented to support whether or not advertising to children should be eliminated.
Advertisements that are unethical are those that do not involve getting the parents’ consent (Smith, 2010). Using cartoon characters in advertisements are intended specifically to target on children. These are the advertisements that can easily manipulate children. Smith identified four elements that can indicate that the advertisement is aimed at children are the music, images, voices and colors (2010). Most advertisements directed to children use special effects in presenting the products. These are the factors which usually captivate children and capture their attention. These special effects cloud the real idea and use of the products being advertised (Bjurstrom, 1994). What makes it even more unethical is if it is placed in publications read by children alone or advertised in children’s television shows or displayed where there are lots of children. Other advertisements directed to children that are unacceptable are those that make children think that they are inferior if they do not possess a wide range of new products. ...Show more