This chapter examines the regulation of television advertising with special reference to children. We consider the extent to which advertising regulations are consistent with and supported by research evidence concerning children and advertising, the degree to which regulations have kept pace with research evidence, and whether there are issues raised by the regulations on which further research is needed. We also review the contribution that research might play in further informing current guidelines and codes of practice for television advertisers. In doing this, we consider whether the research evidence presented to regulators has been effectively utilized. In addition, we examine the pressures upon British advertising regulators to conform to European regulations and the feasibility of achieving Europe-wide standardization or harmonization of advertising regulations.
ABOUT ADVERTISING AND CHILDREN
The most significant sources of criticism and concern about advertising aimed at children have been national and international consumer organizations. According to these bodies, children require special consideration because they are less able than adults to understand fully the intent of advertising or its persuasion techniques and are therefore less able to judge advertising critically (see chaps. 3 and 4).