Banning ads is not the answer

I read with interest Ãse Hedberg’s news analysis “Swedish TV ad ban drive ‘flawed’ by interpretation” (MW November 23).

I read with interest Ãâ¦se Hedberg’s news analysis “Swedish TV ad ban drive ‘flawed’ by interpretation” (MW November 23).

Children are now open to numerous channels of information and have become more sophisticated. Parental involvement is becoming more crucial but, at the same time, brands have become an everyday part of our lives.

However, is Sweden right in singling out advertising as a potentially manipulative influence? The Internet remains in its infancy in terms of guidelines and restrictions. Regardless of which medium can provide the strongest message, it is the job of the marketing industry to continually maintain a responsible attitude when communicating with children.

The ban is based on research undertaken in Sweden that most children do not understand the difference between advertising and programming by the age of ten. Surely, if children really do not understand the difference, why would anyone want to advertise to them at all?

Marketing can do a lot more in terms of acting responsibly to children. Good examples of successful campaigns include ones that involve the whole family. Brands and retailers now frequently hold events, particularly during school breaks, which are fun, free and give consumers an opportunity to sample new products and foster family interaction.

Instead of condemning the advertising society and, as a result, overprotecting children, marketers should be doing a lot more to educate them.

Miles Hanson

Managing director

The Marketing Store

London WC2E

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