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The Contender
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That we should not target children in advertisements

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/14/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,386 times Debate No: 61678
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




Hey guys!

This will be a 4-round debate, where the 1st round is just detailed by the Con 'accepting' the debate. I will be debating the Pro side :)

2nd Round is where Aff states the case and the conclusion will be in the 4th round (a.k.a the third speaker of a 3v3 debate).
Good luck, and have fun!

EDIT: for clarification purposes it is a 1v1 debate!!


As stated by the OP of this debate, 1st round is to only declare that I'm accepting the debate. I'm in the con side.
Debate Round No. 1


Alright, so let's begin!

I'll start off with my substantive due to no arguments being present previously.

We define children as any human under the age of 12 years, or have not matured enough to be considered an older teenager. Targeting is defined as explicitly programming the contents of advertisements with the primary intended purpose of persuading children.

Firstly, just the theme of ethics. Targeting TV advertisements to children is unethical. We do not feel that children can distinguish between programs and cannot judge how unethical an advertisement or how misleading an advertisement can be. Children are far less likely to resist sales pitches, so in this sense we are taking advantage of these children. We are exploiting the weakness that most children possess and so we do not feel that it is justified.

Additionally, advertising specifically to children has many potential implications. Children are unlikely to possess significant amounts of money, they are unlikely to possess items of consequence, so we believe that when children are so severely targeted by advertisements and subsequently influenced, then their parents are likely to be the ones who are harassed constantly, pestered constantly in order to receive what they want. This leads to parents having to handle the financial burden that their children are heaping onto them.

As children mature, so does their ability to make more informed decisions, and this is why it is justified to protect children from unhealthy advertising until they have matured.


Thank you.

First of all, we have agreement. Advertising may lead to consumerism, which is bad. There's no debate on this point.

However, my argument that we should let children to get exposed to advertising, is for one thing; education and prevention.

The best solution is (obviously is) to avoid advertisement at any cost. However, this is impossible. The reason is because due to modernization and globalization, we're constantly exposed to entertainment, including advertisement.

My argument is: With the help of parents (and government), we should expose children to advertisement, so they're immune to the bad thing.

Here's what I'm trying to say. An example will help:

We're born as weak baby right? Since we're baby, we're given immunization. Those liquid that's injected to our body contains virus. The target of immunization is so our immune will grow up and defeat the virus. After this process of immunization, our body is immune to this disease. That's why nobody got Polio on later age like back in the 40s , due to this immunization.

The same logic applies to advertising. With advertising exposed to our kid, bad things will be exposed to our kid, but with morale lesson given to our kids by our parents about bad effect of advertising, our kid is immune to the bad things such as consumerism. I'm not going to explain and debate of which parenting method is the best, since it's out of scope.

Advertising is unavoidable, but once in our life, we must face bad things, so we learn from it and then avoid it and "immune" to it. You cannot learn which is bad and which is good, if we don't know which one is. How a kid will tell something is bad if they're not exposed to it.

Parents are important in this education process. I'd like to restate this point.

I like to make "pressure point" that exposed doesn't have to mean they have to do it. So if I say someone is exposed with drugs, it doesn't mean that guy uses drugs. It's just he know what is drugs.
Debate Round No. 2


Continuing, I will begin with rebuttal:

-'exposing children to advertisement because it is impossible to prevent'
As the Con has pointed out, by exposing children to advertising we are able to 'educate' them and inherently strengthen them. However, we do not believe this is the case. Let us move on to a common case prevalent in state schools all around the world: Bullying. It is undeniable that bullying has negative consequences. The Con has conveniently agreed with me that advertising has negative consequences for children. Do we tell children 'Cool, let's let you suffer from bullying and we'll tell you methods to cope at the same time. So let us let those bullies rough you up a bit while, at the same time, we will tell you to run away and tell a teacher.'

No. We do not. It is abhorrent and there is no reason why we should do this. We do not let the mental and physical turmoil hit the child and then step in. Simply because advertising cannot be stopped does not mean that we should not attempt to stop it. Again, we can relate to the issue of bullying. Bullying will never stop because it's a prominent part of the culture and lifestyles of many people. However, we can deter it and attempt to cut it off from the root. Through deterrence in the beginning, the amount of reported bullying curbs.

-we will become 'immune' to it
No we will not. Let us create a hypothetical scenario, a study of 100 children being subjected to constant disruption while forcing them to do homework. Sure, 70 may well cope with it and learn to 'deal' with it. However, in this case, Con conveniently forgot about the other 30. So, what happens with them? They break down. Their mental processes are subsequently shredded and they simply cannot cope despite the help that you try to offer. Are we going to neglect the smaller minority simply because the larger majority can benefit? Are we going to adopt the utilitarianism approach to advertising, despite the fact that it has been proven problematic on so many counts in the past? There is absolutely no reason why we should allow this to continue.

Moving onto my substantive,

My next main point: The economic implications of such a procedure.
Fast food joints target these children, influencing them to gorge on different kinds of fast food. Eventually, these children can become overweight or even obese. Not only is this a burden on themselves, it is a burden to the state. This leads to an increased risk of health problems, and when they suffer from these health problems, most states have to intervene, leading to increasing healthcare costs. We do not believe that the state has to deal with these issues simply because children are exposed to horrible influences from an early age. We believe that the state should step in and actively attempt to stop the targeting of children from an early age because that is in the interests of both the children and the state.


I shall point out flaws in Pros argument:


My argument: -'exposing children to advertisement because it is impossible to prevent'

Pros counter-argument: -'Let us move on to a common case prevalent in state schools all around the world: Bullying. It is undeniable that bullying has negative consequences.'-

My counter-argument:

This is a straw argument

Pros pointed out that bullying is bad thing. Which is, I agree. However, my argument is NOT advertising is impossible to prevent. My argument is advertising is impossible to AVOID. So I prefer not to talk more about this. Because even fundamentally, the Pros is already wrong.

However, if people think that this is matter of word choice, I still think that that is a straw argument, here's why:

The Pros mentioned bully, and the effect, that is true. But the Pros doesn't mention how does advertising and bullying connects to each other. Pros do mentioned this quote.

'Cool, let's let you suffer from bullying and we'll tell you methods to cope at the same time. So let us let those bullies rough you up a bit while, at the same time, we will tell you to run away and tell a teacher.'

I don't think any advertisement tell kids about this (at least in my country). Advertising promotes consumerism, not bullying. Although consumerism can leads to bullying, this doesn't mean advertising promotes bullying. For a bullying to be succeed, then the environment (which in this case the neighborhood) must support it. You don't have to watch advertisement, to bully people. (And in my opinion, it's movie and TV shows that promotes bullying, not advertisement.)


My argument: "we will become 'immune' to it"

Counter-argument: Although this argument is true for the majority, this may not be true to the minority.

I think this is a good argument, but this argument forgets a pressure point that I have repeated many times during the second round.


In this argument, the Pros gives the illusion that children will tear apart "alone". They wont, there's parent. Parent are there for them so they can accommodate their children, including if the children is part of the minority.

Pros do gave us an example about homework, and gives an counter argument to my ideas of "parent"

-"they simply cannot cope despite the help that you try to offer"

I find this argument is proof-less, has no evidence. Our system has given "solution" for this minority who can't cope with homework.

Such as home-schooling.

I think many people had benefit from home-schooling. Whether home-schooling is good or bad is out of scope of this debate, but I'm sure that there is some people that have managed to cope with the help of home-schooling, so the idea that "even our help is futile" is simply wrong.

Yes, there's very extreme case where they just cant cope with school. But they had met psychiatrist. The process of curing mental drawbacks are not quick. So you can't say that even psychiatrist can't help them. They can, it helps, but it takes time. Sometimes, it takes decades. (1)


Pros argument: "The economic implications of such a procedure."

The pros has make a good example of fast-food and obese. Obese is happening phenomenon , but we commonly forget that this happens because the obese' parents failed to give proper education. Have the parents succeed, the children will not obese, understand that eating too much is bad, and as a long-term, effect, the children will know their limits.

I'd like to also point out an argument that I forgot to cover in Round 2.


Pros argument: "As children mature, so does their ability to make more informed decisions, that's why we should protect our children for advertisement"

Yes, mature people will make better decisions. But how do they make better decisions?

From morale lesson that the mature person receives in childhood. If they don't know which is bad and which is good, how are they gonna make the decisions?



Debate Round No. 3


So in the final part of this debate, there have been a number of key themes that have been echoed throughout the debate, the key themes that both sides wish to win in order to win this debate.

1. The theme of implications arising from advertising, that advertising negatively impacts children

In this theme, we have argued about the negative connotations that are manifested by advertising. We drew out the example of bullying. Con attempted to rebut this by pointing out it as a 'straw man' and pointing out how connections fail to exist.
However, connections DO exist. We must try to focus on how both advertising and bullying creates consequences for individuals at a young age. Yes, advertising promotes consumerism, but consumerism is a very broad issue. Advertising creates want in children. It encourages children to pursue the latest innovative toy. This leads to competition between children, which in turn can lead to cases of bullying. While this is a relatively small link, the biggest link between the two is that both share negative consequences and that is what we have been trying to stress throughout the second speech. In the second speech, we narrowed the debate to the idea of advertising from fast food joints promoting poor dieting and health issues. The con then moves on to reply to this by pointing out that 'parents failed to give a proper education.'

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a MAJOR contradiction! The Con spends a significant amount of their rebuttal hinging around the positive effects of parents on children, but then moves on to quote how there are a certain amount of parents who neglect to do so. They raised the point of parents but effectively made that argument redundant by proving it wrong in certain cases. Hence, the home-schooling point in addition to the point about parents helping children out is rendered redundant.

However, even if this was not the case, parents should not be burdened with the expectation that they have to spend a considerable amount of time lecturing and educating their children. Parents do not live the easy life, they have to spend extensive periods of time at their workplace in order to make a solid living for their family. We should not be imposing extra regulations and burdens on these parents to justify the state's laziness. Again, repeating earlier, we need to cut this off from the stem, and that is something the state can do.

2. The morality of advertisements targeting children, the weak

This theme has been poorly explored throughout the debate, however the Con has not once attacked nor responded to our idea that advertisements are immorally targeting children, so we have common ground, in favour of the Pro.
Advertisements targeting children is unethical, something that both sides have agreed on.

3. Whether this issue is something that is reduced over time

Con attempted to resolve this theme by pointing out that without learning 'morale lessons' from their childhood, they are unable to make better decisions.

Yes, this is partly true. What the con however, failed to raise up is the point that there are schools. Schools are here for a reason.
-The con attempts to justify their reasoning with the idea that parents are the sole source of education. But again, in theme 1, the idea of using parents as the sole or main source of education is highly flawed.
-However, even if we do use schools to educate children, children have an active time of around 6 hours away from school every day (not including sleeping), and around 12 hours on weekends. This is around 50-55 hours every week away from school, becoming increasingly susceptible to inappropriate advertisements.
-We can link this to the drug issue prevalent in society. Drugs are commonly devalued and looked down upon, but there are laws restricting the use of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs to 18 years of age (or 21 in some countries). Why does the law do this? This is because the state believes that children have matured enough and gained enough knowledge from the educational system that they can make their own informed decisions. Parents cannot teach their children appropriately in a short amount of time. We should neither expect nor force them to. Drug dealers cannot target children because there is an explicit harm involved, while the harm with advertising is reduced to a certain extent, it lies around the same morals and we should not allow these companies to actively target children for the sake of greed and profit.

Ladies and gentlemen, we should not allow these companies to target these children to satiate their own greed. This is one part of the status quo that is inherently flawed and we need to fix this. As we can firmly see, the three key themes of this debate fall on the pro side and this is why we are proud to propose.


I was someone disappointed that some of my argument are not fully countered. Many are countered, but not fully.

This is the whole thing that I have been trying to point out since Round 2:

>Advertising is bad. It will gives bad effect to mature aged person and children. Instead of waiting it too late until mature-aged.

An example will help.

8 yo kid: "Daddy, I want to buy that $500 Barbie Doll!"
Dad : "Don't buy it. First it's pointless [insert morale lesson]
Effect : Kids know their limit

15 yo kid: "I will buy that $5000 Alligator skinned bag!"

Who's going to stop that kid? You may say parents, but unfortunately, kids who's are growing up are not gonna listen your advice. In this age where they're in 'transition mode', they will try to breakout, achieve freedom, including freedom from their parents. Putting morale lesson here will be too late.

Here's what I have been trying to say since round 2. Instead of waiting until you're teen (or mature by age, whatever) and it turns out too late, like the example above, it's better to expose them since beginning.

Pros mentioned that the reason that some government make some age limit, is because mature person make better decision, but better decision comes from childhood morale lesson.

When someone's smoking, they don't blindfold their kid. No, they tell the kid that the person is smoking, and smoking is bad.

Same logic applies to advertisement, they don't blindfold their kid when advertisement appears on TV, they tell the kid that is advertisement, and advertisement is bad for you. Rinse and repeat from age 0 until they mature enough. ( Pros argues that 17 years is short, but I honestly think that he haven't come up with a source that says so. )

Mature doesn't come instantly, it comes from lesson and experience. You don't suddenly turns instantly to become wise when you reach 17. You become wise from morale lesson.

I like to mentioned that Pros keeps looking "to the past", by giving bad examples. Pros never considered if my idea is successful "to the future". Past is to know what's wrong with us, NOT to blame the future. In the past, we learned that we had not put enough emphasis on good parenting. Pros give 2 good examples of bullying and obese. This is what I emphasis. My solution is better parenting. We haven't try out 'better parenting', why scared out of hell and say that for 100% that 'better parenting' will fail?

Again, bullying, obese, consumerism occurs due to bad parenting. My solution is better parenting. This is what I have being trying to say since round 2. It doesn't contradicts my argument, it's the reasoning of my argument.

I'd like to give a quote to close my conclusion.

We know fire. Fire, when small is good, you can cook food, heat your self, boil water. However, if it turns huge, it will burn everything and become enemy.

Same logic applies to advertisement. When advertisement effect is controlled, it's good, when not it's bad. The controller is parents and government.

Personal note: I'd like to argue that parents and teacher are pretty synonymous. I mean teacher's is your parent in school right? That's why I never bother to talk about school, because they give the same effect. Education.

Unrelated note: Argh, 3 round is too short. I'd like to thank my Pros for providing good debate. This is my first debate. Thank you and may the best debater wins.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Terridax 2 years ago
Is this a 3v3 debate or 1v1?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm nulling this debate. Neither side actually supported their assertions, and both sides could have. There are studies on children and advertisements, and either side could have used them. That they didn't means they both were just making speculation that they both disagreed with. Guys: If you're talking about something that has an abundance of evidence, you should use evidence. I would at least somewhat lean Pro in terms of plausibility, and readability. But Pro had the BoP, and given Con's rebuttals and the lack of any evidence to the assertions of both sides, I just can't award a win, here. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.