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Advertising can be termed as any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor

(Kapoor, 2010). Although advertising might facilitate one to be up to date about latest product and technology, but on the other side, it can also create some pressing issues like Influence over children that could affect a child both mentally and physically. It can be argued, children are more vulnerable target audience for advertisers as they are easily influenced by advertisements without doubting its motive (Vadehra, 2010). It seems, globally, governments are taking serious steps to regulate advertising Influence over children. Sweden, for example, had banned the advertising for children below 12 years (Edling, 1999) while advertising is strictly regulated across other parts of Europe (RAC, 2003). Furthermore, there are voluntary groups like Adbusters and "Mothers group" that pressurize governments to regulate advertising (Vadehra, 2010). In India, It might be right to say, the laws corresponding to advertising are very lax and there are only couple of business organisation that can only put moral pressure on advertising. (Vadehra, 2010) Without exaggerating, it can be said that in the last two decades, there has been a major change in the advertising Pattern in India. In 1970-90, advertising was limited to direct messages through radio, print and limited visuals. Moreover, there are several educational short visuals for children. In 1990s, when Indian broadcast industry was liberalised (Indianetzone, 2003), cable television revolution had changed the advertising entirely. Television had been now labelled as a powerful source of advertising. According to recent survey, in India, children watches 2-3 hrs television on weekdays and it increases on weekend and reaches an overwhelming high in vacations (Table 1). Moreover, India has on average 15 minutes of advertising in an hour during children programming (Table 2) as a result children are exposed to an overwhelming amount of advertising (CI, 2004). Although, there are some laws to deal with child related advertising like Cable TV Network (Regulation) Act, 1995 that provides guidelines for programmes and advertising on television. Publication considered harmful for children are regulated by Young Act. Moreover, there are some self-regulation codes to control the content of advertisements. Internet advertisements are strictly regulated by IT Act (Vadehra, 2010). However, in absence of any regulatory body, effectiveness of above laws can be argued. Taking example of Junk Food advertising and Children, a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report has highlighted that cardiovascular diseases are even now more numerous in India and main reasons are increasing trends towards obesity, unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles(CI, 2004). Furthermore, a recent research shows that there has been increase in demand of junk food by children after watching Junk Food Advertisements that shows thin and fit models eating Junk food. (Vadehra, 2010), but still there are several Junk Foods advertisements such as McDonalds and Pizza Hut during children programmes. Furthermore, according to a multi-country survey, in India, 40-50% of advertisements during childrens programming were of food (CI, 2004).

Although, there might be a lack of self regulatory media in India but there are attempts to implement it effectively. Industry pledge for ethical advertisements is one of the strong examples of awareness among media. Industry representatives, under Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), took the pledge to sensitize younger advertising professionals about creating responsible campaigns. Following this effort, leading multinational food companies committed to change food advertising for children (Sharma, 2011). It can be concluded, in spite of having several acts and regulatory laws addressing advertising to children, advertising impact over children is unregulated in India. Although, advertising industry is taking some effective steps toward self regulation, there is an urgent need of strong regulatory body required that can pressurize government to take some effective steps to minimize negative influence of advertising over children.

References: CI. (2004) The Junk Food Generation [online] [Accessed 18 September 2011] Available from: Edling, Alex. (1999) Swedish Consumer Ombudsman on TV advertising to children [online] [Accessed 18 September 2011] Available from: Indianetzone. (2011) Indian Television [online] [Accessed 18 September 2011] Available from : Kapoor, Dr Sheetal. (2010) Legal and Ethical Aspects of Advertising [online] [Accessed 18 September 2011] Available from: RAC. (2003) Advertising and Children [online] [Accessed 18 September 2011] Available from: Singh, Namrata. (2011) Industry pledges to create ethical ads The Times of India [online] 14 April 2011 [Accessed 18 September 2011] Available from: Vadehra, Sharad. (2010) Advertising to children in India YOUNG CONSUMERS 11(2) 153-156

Appendices: Table 1: Percentage of children and parents watching over eight hours of television a day during vacation

Source: (CI, 2004) Table 2: Advertising time per hour of childrens programme

Source: (CI, 2004)