Years ago, we killed Joe Camel. He was preying on kids and as a united body of parents and concerned adults, we told the cigarette companies that our kids weren’t fair game. Other than the cigarette manufacturers, everyone is happy that the large-snouted ugly beast is gone.
Years ago, we killed Joe Camel. He was preying on kids and as a united body of parents and concerned adults, we told the cigarette companies that our kids weren’t fair game. Other than the cigarette manufacturers, everyone is happy that the large-snouted ugly beast is gone. Since he went away, public awareness of the effects of advertising has increased. We know that our kids—especially teens and preteens—are extremely influenced by sexy, luring advertisements. And they are particularly vulnerable when adult behaviors are the focus of the ads.
Pediatrics just released a study looking at the effects of advertising alcohol to 7th to 12th graders.
The study found that exposure to alcohol commercials not only increases a child’s likelihood of using alcohol, but it also leads him or her to have problems during his or her later teen years.
They state, “Younger adolescents appear susceptible to the persuasive messages contained in alcohol commercials broadcast on TV, which sometime results in a positive affective reaction to the ads. Alcohol ad exposure and the affective reaction to those ads influence some youth to drink more and experience drinking-related problems later in adolescence.”
So here we have it. Marketing stuff to our kids changes their behavior. But we’ve known this for years. Joe Camel taught us that kids buy cigarettes when they see ads and now we know that when kids see alcohol ads, they drink more.
We also know from recent studies that boys who play violent video games during the teen years are more likely to be aggressive when they are in their twenties. And as far as sex is concerned, we have that data too. Seeing sex or sexual references on television increases the likelihood of teens being sexually active. Sex and teens is a very dangerous combo. Not only are they exposed to an epidemic of STD’s, but they also run the risk of dealing with psychological issues and of course, pregnancy.