Young Minds and Marketplace Values: Issues in Children's Television Advertising

Dale Kunkel, Donald Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


This paper reviews research on young children's responses to television commercials in the context of the history of attempts to regulate television advertising directed to children. Concern with regulation emerged in the 1960s, when children were recognized as a market in their own right. The few available and relevant empirical studies played a clear role in shaping early Federal Communications Commission (1974) policy. Subsequent research demonstrated that young children have difficulty distinguishing between programs and commercials, that most manifest little or no understanding of commercials' persuasive intent, and that those who do not understand persuasive intent are highly vulnerable to commercial claims and appeals. These findings led the Federal Trade Commission (1978) to attempt to ban television advertising to children too young to understand persuasive intent. However, the history of regulatory attempts demonstrates that research findings are not a dominant influence on policy decisions. Rather, policy is a result of competing value orientations (e.g., protection of the marketplace or protection of the child) and the political maneuvering they engender. 1991 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-72
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Young Minds and Marketplace Values: Issues in Children's Television Advertising'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this