As we see more commercials on television, the question of whether advertising to children affects cognitive development is becoming more relevant. In addition to the potential psychological effects of advertisements, the study found that children do not know that athletes who appear in commercials are paid to promote certain products. Children are highly susceptible to such external influences and may be more influenced by them than adults are. In fact, according to a recent study by Educational Leadership, children are not even aware that the athletes in these commercials are paid for promoting a product.

Empirical research

Marketing and advertising to children have long been thought to have negative effects on their behavior and attitudes. While advertising can increase consumers’ desire for a product, the impact of marketing to children goes beyond promoting a product’s features. Evidence demonstrates that children below the age of seven are prone to accepting and interpreting advertising claims uncritically. As a result, marketers have been making more effective use of this demographic to further their marketing and advertising goals.

One recent study looked at advertisements to children. Using a questionnaire, researchers found that over half of respondents agreed that the advertisements helped children make good consumer decisions. However, advertising on children’s television did not seem to affect young people’s opinion of educational institutions. This suggests that advertising on children’s television might not have any significant negative effects on young viewers, but might have a negative effect on their perception of the educational institutions themselves.

Product disclosures

A child-inspired product disclosure influenced the way children viewed advertisements. It improved their ability to recognize advertising and recall product messages, while increasing their liking of brands. A pretest test of recognition of the child-inspired disclosure found that the child-inspired ad had a higher positive effect on brand attitude and purchase intentions than the control ad. This finding has implications for the design of child-inspired product disclosures. Here are some tips for advertisers to make effective product disclosures.

In order to provide the best possible product disclosures for children, advertisers must be careful about the visuals they include on their labels. They must also include accurate information about the product’s intended use. Often, written disclaimers may not be enough for child-friendly advertising. Despite the importance of children’s safety, parents should be mindful of ensuring that product disclosures are age-appropriate and unbiased. In addition to the content of child-friendly product disclosures, product packaging should have a simple and uncomplicated design.


Disclaimers for advertising to children help advertisers explain potentially misleading statements in their advertisements. The Federal Trade Commission has required advertisers to provide disclaimers in a dual-modality format, which is better understood by young viewers. Researchers have conducted content analyses of 3,800 television commercials and found that child-rated programming contains more emotional appeals and production techniques than non-dual-modality disclaimers. Future research should focus on how to improve disclosures to children by addressing these distractions.

The government’s mandated disclaimers should be subject to the same high standard of evidentiary proof. This would not only improve the outcome for consumers, but would be more consistent with the First Amendment, which prohibits government from abridging the free speech of Americans. The first amendment protects the free speech of individuals and corporations, and advertising disclaimers should be no exception. But if government is forced to use these disclaimers, the law may violate the First Amendment and make commercial advertising harmful.


Host-selling to children occurs when an advertisement for a cereal is included in a show for young viewers. Research by psychologist Dale Kunkel showed that host-selling reduced children’s ability to distinguish between advertisements and program content. Older children, however, were much more receptive to host-selling advertisements than younger ones. Host-selling to children has several implications, including the potential for child abuse.

The FCC banned host-selling in 2004. In 2004, the FCC extended this ban to show-hosts and website addresses. It also required that licensees document their compliance with the policy. While it was delayed, it’s currently in effect on both DTV and analog television channels. Host-selling to children is a violation of FCC policy. The FCC has no clear definition of “host-selling,” but it does allow the use of bumpers to signal commercial breaks or program titles.

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Damon Nelson
Damon Nelson

Entrepreneur, business consultant, software developer, and marketing professional. Many hats with one simple goal... help you make more money with simple automation, proven strategies, and a little common sense. Want to learn more? Check out what I've been reading lately.