Last Updated 28 Jan 2021

The RAC programme

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Critically discuss the speech and the position paper with reference to the text provided. It’s an evaluation between the speech given by Mr. Axel Edling on the effect of advertisement on the children and the position paper by the RAC programme which represent the advertisers, agencies and media throughout Europe and worldwide. Mr. Edling here is representing the Swedish legislation and presenting the view of Swedish Legislation. The speech discusses why the advertisement should not be targeted to the children, especially to the children below the age of 12.

He specifies that the ban on advert is not for specific type of products instead it covers all adverts that are created to get attention of the children and such bans are accepted by the people of Sweden. Whereas in second text the association argues that the advertiser should be allowed to produce TV advertisement for all ages of children and should be committed with high standard of self regulation. The speakers views are that young children do not understand the advertisement and its content and the basic principal of ICC code is that the “advertisement should be easily identified as such”.

He states that the commercial communication is a special kind of communication where the business firm hire qualified set of people to design a message to promote the product. However the association in the second text firmly believes that the adverts have the responsibility to make the children understand and interpret the advertisement in the manner which does affect their daily lives this will also lead to development of media literacy across the European Nation.

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The speakers argue that sometimes the advertisement does not give the clear picture and the children below certain level of maturity are not sure what the objective of the advertisement is. The speaker takes strong reference of Swedish sociologist Mr. Erling Bjurstrom. Bjurstrom in his research he concluded that children between the age of 3 and 4 sometime can distinguish between the advisement and programmes but this ability develop till the age 6 or 8, and till the age of 10 practically all children develops this ability.

The speaker has taken references of some studies where it is mentioned that the children by the age of 12 develops the fundamental understanding of advertisement and the purpose of adverts. The writers in second text point out that the children today are media literate; however there is responsibility to help children understand and interpret the advert in correct context. The speakers in his speech suggest the advertiser to take the business codes seriously and should not relay on self regulation.

He mentions that the advertisers should not target TV advertisement at the small children rather to their guardian who can perfectly judge the requirement of their child. Where as in the second text the association is committed to work with parents and school to identify new and developing issues and is also committed to follow the advertising code of the ICC and also committed to the self regulatory codes. The ICC code includes specific provision on advertising to the children. The second text clearly mentions that the national code and the ICC codes are reviewed regularly.

It furthers states that the entire advertiser should strictly follow the advertising rules and an article in the law is dedicated to advertising to minors. The speaker believes that the commercials should speak to parents or the grown up who have the full understanding about what is it. Whereas in the second text the writer believes that the children today are more media friendly and children will the gain the knowledge and skill of the consumer from the TV advertisement. The second text points out that the advertisement generates significant revenue for wide range of children programs whereas this argument for the speaker is irrelevant.

He further states that the TV advertisement should not be targeted to children instead it should be targeted to the grownups with better understanding of the product. Task 2 – Position of advertising with reference to children in India Advertising today is an easy form of communication to make consumer literate about the product and these advertisements plays a vital role in decision making on to which product to choose. The advertisements today has a great impact on population and with time the technology in present scenario have made advertisement reachable to the common people and children.

Children today are tech savvy and the easy availability to devices has made children more media literate. The impact of advertisement has both the impact. It can have short impact on children as well as long impact. In case of short impact children persuade their parents to buy the product immediately, want to use it, and check if the effects shown in the advertisements are true. Where as in a long lasting impact, they remember the product for the life time and would like to consume once they grow. Children are an enormously powerful medium for marketing consumer goods in India.

For the marketing companies children are great source of medium to sell their products not only because children influence their parent’s decision making to buy a product for them but also these children are there future consumer. In India advertisement of food products generally raises issues regarding child health especially the television adverts. Children are more prone to television and spend on an average 3 to 4 hour on television and the junk food adverts greatly influence the diet of the growing children. (Katke, 2008, p. 285) Indian child on an average get exposed to not less than 20 attractive messages of these product.

More time spent with television viewing more exposure to these messages (Repeat advertisements message result into placing the brand on top of the mind) will result into buying the brand illustrated in the advertisements. On the hand advertisement also plays a vital role in spreading awareness among the children and their parents. Such advertisements make the children aware about the good and the bad, the positive and the negative of the societies. One such example is awareness campaign on polio promoted by the government. An advertisement telecasted on the television with a mission to eradicate polio from the country.

Such advertisements are called social advertisement. One more example of social advertising is promoting the children to study in school with mission to provide right to education among all the society. The objective of social advertising is to change public attitude and behaviour and stimulate positive change. A research study in Uttar Pradesh commissioned by Unicef found that more than 94 percent of respondents reported that they came to the polio booth after seeing the spots on television which was endorsed by celebrities like Amitabh Bachhan, Shahrukh Khan, Sachin Tendulkar & Jaya Bachhan (Nawathe, et al, 2007, p. 304).

The government of India have banned the adverts to advertise the product which seriously affect the population. Such ban includes advertising Cigarettes and Alcohol. Such ban is not only restricted to television it is followed by the print media as well as within the movies. The government does not allow any product to be telecasted on the films that are injurious to the health. To conclude advertisement plays an important role on day to day life of children in India especially the television advertisement.

Television is one such media which is easily available, cheap and affordable. It can be seen that children in India spend on an average 3 – 4 hours a day on television and the children can clearly distinguished between a TV programme and an advertisement. There are good and the bad side of the adverts. The good side is the social awareness campaign promoted the government organization and the bad side is the products which are unhealthy for the children. The bad side can be controlled with strict parenting and spreading awareness among the children.

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