Advertising is child’s play

Miles Hanson, in his letter, (MW December 14), questionned why anyone would want to advertise to children if they don’t understand the difference between advertising and programming.

Surely that’s exactly why companies would want to advertise to them. The advertising becomes subliminal and therefore has a much more powerful effect. Although I find it a little sad that Swedish parents need protecting against their potentially nagging children. I just say no.

Children can discern the difference between advertising and programming. Ads are things that get in the way during Pokémon. In fact, in multi-channel households I’m sure ads actually generate channel switching among younger children.

I have had less pressure to buy the latest Action Man since we had cable fitted. The question is therefore: is TV advertising an effective marketing tool in the modern household where children (who may not know what is being advertised to them) do know what ads are?

David Hodson

Mind The Gap

London WC2

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here