Good Tuesday morning, everyone.
It was very nice to meet many of you online this past Sunday during our first scheduled IELTS-Chat.com meet up. For those of you who missed it, you can find a full transcript here. Our topic on Sunday was the writing section of the exam. Please reply to this thread with suggestions for upcoming meet up subjects.
Here is an essay response to a recent question seen on the Academic exam in Taiwan in late September (question taken from IELTS-blog.com):
Some people believe that advertisements targeting children may have negative effects on them, and suggest banning such advertisements as a solution. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Advertising is a central component to the free market. As the catalyst for sales, it is not surprising that all divisions of a society are targeted, including the very young. However, I argue that advertising aimed at children can have negative effects on them and should thus be banned. This will be proven by looking at how a child’s diet and attention span are altered when they are exposed to certain forms of promotion.
Firstly, it is quite evident that a child’s dietary preferences can be affected negatively by advertisements. For example, McDonald’s television commercials in the United States often depict young children having larger than life experiences in their restaurants. Relenting to their children’s nagging, parents can unfortunately allow the diet of their young ones to include fast food on a regular basis, thus leading to obesity. Today, the US has the highest rate of childhood obesity in the world and this indicates the negative ramifications targeted advertising can have on children.
In addition to this, advertising can shorten a child’s attention span and create excessive feelings of want. Take toy commercials, for example. Children are barraged on a daily basis with commercials advertising a wide variety of toys. If children are actually given these toys, they often are quick to stop playing with them and desire something new. This shortening of a child’s attention span can be seen as yet another reason why child-directed advertising lacks merit.
After looking at the above points, it is clear that promotional strategies focusing on the very young should be prohibited on the basis that they can lead to developmental problems in children. I hope parents everywhere monitor their children’s exposure to such mediums.