Advertising's influence on children begins sooner than realize


Advertising's influence on children begins sooner than you may realize.

  • Children can begin to distinguish brands during their preschool years. Six-month-old babies can visualize corporate logos and mascots, according to the Center for a New American Dream. Brand loyalty begins as early as age 2. The average 3-year-old recognizes 100 different brand logos.
  • Toddlers cannot distinguish a commercial from a television show. The same is true for stories and puzzles versus an advertisement.
  • It isn’t until age 8 that kids begin to realize advertising can be untruthful or misleading.
  • As children take in multitudes of commercials, they learn to place worth in material possessions. As they grow, this materialism can contribute to discontentment, unhappy relationships and drug or alcohol abuse.
  • In 2000, $2 billion was spent on advertising to children in America. By 2008, that figure had increased to $15 billion. 1
  • One-third of young children have a television in their bedroom, as do two-thirds of pre-teens and teens. 2
  • In a study of more than 1,000 U.S. families, researchers found that 40 percent of 3-month-olds and 90 percent of kids aged 2 years old and younger regularly watch television, DVDs or videos. 3
  • Children greatly influence parental spending. In 2008, households were likely to spend up to $2 billion online for children’s toys, and an average of $172 per household. 4
  • According to advertisers, children under age 3 represent a $20 billion market. 5


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