It has become obvious that advertising is designed to influence children. Advertising has an impact on their needs, their desire and their requests. How has it evolved in this way and what are the reasons of this interest for such a young audience? How can we define advertising? Advertising is an element of what we call the commercial communication. Different to marketing, which is defined as a strategy, advertising is a vehicle and a tool for sending a specific message to the target audience. Advertising is designed to inform about a product or service. To accomplish this goal, advertisers need to target the right people for the right product. They work on fulfilling conscious or unconscious needs that could arise in the minds of the consumers. According to the article 1 of the Television without Frontiers Directive, television shall not cause moral or physical detriment to minors, and shall therefore comply with the following criteria: a) it shall not directly exhort minors to buy a product or a service by exploiting their inexperience and credulity; b) it shall not directly encourage minors to persuade their parents or others to purchase the goods or services advertised; c) it shall not exploit the special trust minors place in parents, teachers or others persons; d) it shall not unreasonably show minors in dangerous situations.
[...] Over the time they have taken advantage of this situation by imposing advertising spots during the shows dedicated to children. They can easily reach their target because these programs are very specific. During cartoons you will very often see a spot about a particular toy or video game. Sectors such as the car industry or the house equipment are more and more present during show for kids. Children are giving their opinion on the choices of their parents in different domains, brands are aware of this new behavior. [...]
[...] Until now, each state is free to take its own decisions on the issue of regulating advertising aimed to children. We can see that great efforts can still be engaged for the upcoming years. The problem with advertising is that all techniques to get round the law are used. They play on the subtlety of the word used in legal texts to distort the original regulation. When the European directive mentions that advertising “shall not directly encourage minors to persuade their parents or others to purchase the goods or services advertised”, the announcer modify the message enough to avoid using encouraging and persuasive terms. [...]
[...] The advertising around food broadcasted during children TV-shows are often promoting “junk food”. All the goods are extremely sweet and contain high doses of fat. Only of the ads for food are boasting healthy feeding. In France, the government has imposed since February 2007 to all announcers to mention the message "avoid snacking between meals" or "for your health avoid eating too much fat, too sweet, too salty." When brands communicate on food, they have to tell to the TV-watchers that nibbling is not healthy or that people should avoid fattening, sugary, salty foods. [...]
[...] Internet is more difficult to access for children. Usually they do not have the knowledge sufficient to type in the website address. They will always need help from an adult, who can the content and the nature of the website. This will prevent the kid from watching ads that are not studied for him/her. As parents have less time to take care of their children, the outside activities have become rare. Television has taken more and more importance in the everyday life of a child. [...]
[...] For example, Sweden and Norway prohibit advertising that targets children. Some European countries don't allow children programs to be sponsored by brands. In several countries advertisement cannot be aimed at children under the age of twelve, and it is forbidden to put on air a spot five minutes before or after children's shows. We will now study 4 different cases to see how differences can arise. Our analysis is based on the document: Action Consummation "Children and Advertizing - between regulation and self-discipline United States of America American children spent four to five hours watching TV every day (compared to 2.5 hours for French children). [...]
using our reader.