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Advertising and Child Well-Being

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Abstract

This chapter examines the empirical evidence for the impact of advertising on children’s well-being and is organised into three sections. The chapter begins with the fundamental question of whether and under what circumstances it is fair to advertise to children at all and suggests that we need a new set of criteria which can also accommodate new media advertising. Section two considers the implications for governments of the growing evidence suggesting that advertising affects children’s propensity to smoke, drink alcohol and eat unhealthily. The third section explores the complex relationship between advertising, family arguments, materialism and childhood wellbeing and the profound implications for children on low incomes. What will become clear from the emerging empirical evidence reviewed in this chapter is that the relationship between advertising and children’s well-being remains highly complex and highly controversial but that it deserves a great deal of attention at a time when consumerism is fast becoming a global phenomenon often with little thought as to the consequences for child well-being. The balance of evidence points to advertising as a negative influence on children’s wellbeing but there is still a great deal that we do not know in this fast evolving landscape.

Keywords

  • Tobacco Advertising
  • Persuasion Knowledge
  • Life Dissatisfaction
  • Commercial World
  • Advertising Exposure

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Nairn, A. (2014). Advertising and Child Well-Being. In: Ben-Arieh, A., Casas, F., Frønes, I., Korbin, J. (eds) Handbook of Child Well-Being. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-9063-8_177

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