media literacy;TARES test;advertising to children;persuasion;media literacy interventions
University of Rhode Island
Journal of Media Literacy Education
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
In the United States, children are exposed to literally hundreds of thousands of television commercials a year and virtually every aspect of kids’ lives are replete with commercial messages. The negative effects of this exposure are well documented. Yet, there remains very little regulation or limit on advertising to children beyond that which exists for adults. Additionally, only about 1/3 of U.S. parents wish for stronger controls. This presents a challenge for media literacy scholars and practitioners. Research has shown that, when presented with information about the negative effects of commercial messages, parents are more likely to adopt some form of media literacy intervention. In this study, we test to see if framing the concept of advertising to children as being unethical (using the TARES test) will increase parents’ willingness to engage in medial literacy intervention techniques. Results show that when advertising to children is framed as being unethical, parents indicated more of a willingness to engage in concept-oriented communication as a media literacy intervention than when the negative effects of advertising is presented without framing it from an ethical perspective.