Let's see if we can make some sense of this.
As background information, consider these facts: advertising is a $250 billion/year industry with over 900,000 brand names to promote; the average young person views over 3,000 ads per day on television, the Internet, billboards and in magazines.
Research continues to determine the exact age at which a child becomes "market savvy." It's a critical issue, with billions of dollars riding on the successful determination. Barring a satisfactory scientific stipulation, advertisers will be left to allocate budgets by guesswork.
The risk, of course, is that the target demographic will be set too high. For sake of argument, let's assume the advertisers determine they will mercilessly target children from 19 months and older. Fair enough. But, what if the correct age is really 16 months? Exactly - 3 months of life wasted on silly childhood games and gibberish.
The stakes are high, indeed.
Several large U.S. companies recently announced "voluntary" plans to reduce advertising aimed at children. The announcements come just prior to a meeting of the Federal Trade Commission expected to place pressure on the companies. At issue is the effect their advertising has on childhood obesity.
While it's a step in the right direction, consider the action of the McDonalds Corporation. They have decided to advertise only twp types of "Happy Meals" to children under twelve. These meals fit their guidelines of deriving no more than 35% of their calories from fat, and containing no more than 35% total sugar content.
So, let the parents beware. Guard your children fiercely and let them grow up in that other segment of society - the one where the demographic components are simply known as carefree children.To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To read more about staying healthy, see this from KidsHealth.