Children exposed to sexy adverts

By Wang Ying (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-07-23 06:34

School's out for the summer, and on goes the TV.

Parents and experts concerned children are being regularly exposed to sexually suggestive advertisements have called for a ratings system and specific timeslots the ads can be shown.

Such scenes include young ladies modeling how underwear can make them look sexier, like special bras that enhance body shape under a summer dress.

Another suggestive ad shows how a speckled skin girl, dumped by her lover, becomes popular again after using cosmetics that turn her complexion fairer.

A survey by the Chinese Youth and Children's Research Center earlier this year found that urban children watch TV about an hour a day on average.

The survey covered more than 2,500 children in six major cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

Similar surveys made in 1996 and 1992 found that children watch TV for 38 minutes and 25 minutes a day on average respectively.

'Sex sells' is a longstanding mantra of the advertising industry. Pretty girls and suggestive situations are being written into ads even when they have little connection to the product being sold.

Experts said young impressionable viewers are being unnecessarily exposed to blatant overselling of sex in ads.

"These kind of adverts reflect the social discrimination on women, which objectifies them. The ads only want to promote whether she has a plump or sexy figure.

"Children and teenagers are passive receivers when they watch the ads on TV. As they have a relatively immature mentality and in the process of building their own sexual awareness toward the opposite sex, they need helpful guides, not misleading ads."

Zong Chunshan

A counselor with Beijing Youth Counseling Center

"We are drafting a suggestion for forming a rating and auditing system for adverts to put an end to misleading ads. The broadcast time of adverts should be decided in accordance with their content, especially during summer and winter vacations."

Tang Xilan

A Beijing People's Congress delegate

"I was shocked to hear my teenage daughter saying that she does not want to eat cakes for fear of losing a good figure to attract her male classmates. TV programs are flooded with sexy ads and some bad ads were broadcast several times a day. Those ads make me sick and I always change the channel when those ugly ads appear. But who can change the channel for my daughter while I am not home during the summer vacation?"

Wu Chunqin

A mother in Chongqing

(China Daily 07/23/2007 page2)

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