Points of View
Are TV commercials for children bad or good? Read this opinion article from a newspaper, followed by cuttings from the Letters to the Editor (编辑) section, to see both sides.
A. Little Spenders are Big Spenders
The latest target for TV commercials is Asia's fastest growing consumer group — children. Asian families are getting smaller and wealthier, and Asian children are watching more TV. One estimate says a typical Asian child sees more than 10,000 minutes of TV commercials a year.
To get the attention (and the money) of these young viewers, commercials use child actors. “Kids can identify with someone from their own age group,” says one advertiser, “so the commercials are more effective.” Of course, child actors earn big money.
Not everyone is happy to see kids turned into consumers. Some educators believe that the more TV commercials children watch, the more materialistic they become. One Japanese survey asked children, “What do you want most in life?” Twenty percent said money or possessions.
For these reasons, governments are taking action to protect children. Television authorities, for example, would ban an advertisement if it made children feel inferior because they did not own the advertised product.
B. Bad for children
With reference to your “Little Spenders are Big Spenders” article, children should not be used as actors in TV commercials. It is illegal for them to work in factories, so why are they allowed to make commercials? Regarding the high salaries, it is bad for children to have too much money.
— Li Yue
C. Silly toys
Advertising to children is wrong because it makes them ask their parents for money to buy things. In addition, many things advertised, such as toys, are silly and encourage violence. A child buying these toys will learn nothing.
— Zhang Jie
D. Nothing wrong with commercials
I disagree that commercials are bad for children. They cannot be harmful or the government would have banned them long ago. Furthermore, what is wrong with children earning money or asking their parents to buy things for them? My final point is that children buy toys to have fun with, not to learn from. This explains why the ‘Magic Babies' are one of the world's best-selling toys, ever.
— Liu Ping, Sunshine Advertising