As far as governments and officials are concerned it is up to us savvy parents to protect our children from these ploys and we're meant to be smart enough to know a fraud when we see one.
We often hear things like:
If you don't want your children watching it turn it off.
If you don't want retailers selling sexy clothing to children don't buy it.
If you don't want your children to eat unhealthy don't buy fast food.
Put your money where your mouth is.
Vote with your money.
It seems easier said than done... because for the most part parents/adults are NOT making these important stands with their money by not buying this stuff.
Here are some of the commercials for example.
Detol - it's the little thing we do that make up our mission for health.
Sounds good enough. Yet what Detol don't mention is that their products are anything but healthy. They contain so many harmful chemical ingredients it's not funny! These ingredients kill off our bodies natural defense systems and can cause contact dermatitis (aka overexposure).
Sensodyne - have an ad where the 'creator and developer' professes to people 'coming up to me' to thank him for inventing the toothpaste. Really? How the heck would anyone know who Sensodyne's developer is let along being able to recognise him on the street to say thanks. If they're lying to me about that how can I trust them?
Neutrogena 'naturals' - again are anything but natural. Neutrogena used harsh chemicals in their products and are tested on animals. There is nothing 'natural' about that.
Age perfect extraordinary oil by L'Oreal. Well I don't even know what the heck that means let along what extraordinary oil is but apparently it's going to make me 'age perfect'. Hmmmmm?
Cornflakes - have a new ad where they tell us Cornflakes are high in iron, and with calcium (milk) "Imagine what Kelogs Cornflakes can do". They neglect to mention their cereal is high in sugar and no amount of iron will counteract the damage all that sugar does to your children's (and your) bodies.
Colgate Total toothpaste commercial where a man and woman are approached and asked how clean their teeth are. They're asked to go away brushing their teeth as normal except the lady it to use Colgate Total and they'll note the difference. The following day their teeth are scanned and her teeth show less plaque. The silly thing is when they show his and her teeth in the scanned pics they are exactly the same set of teeth.
Easy Off BAM - an interview with a woman starts off with her talking about how her children draw on the bath with soap and it's really hard to clean, spray on Easy Off BAM on the shower screen, love how it foams up with a wide spray, and just wipe off. Hang on! Thought she was talking about how the bath is hard to clean and now she's talking about how well the product cleans the shower. Did it clean the bath or not?
Consider also the new free to air channels we now have. All of them are about being 'better than you are' such as; a domestic goddess (vacuums, steam mops etc), beautiful (hair care products, skin care products), looking glamours (jewellery, clothing) and being FIT (exercise machines designed to sell to those who sit at home gaining weight watching infomercials).
Feeling crap about yourself yet? Because that is what these ads are designed for.
It's all lies and manipulation designed to have you believing you're not good enough and all these gimmicks will have you looking GREAT in no time. Take the Soup Diet man for example. The picture of him before his soup diet is exactly (and I mean EXACTLY) the same and his after picture except for a computer generated gut drawn on to his body. His arms are exactly the same fatness (in fact they're lean and muscular), as are his head, neck and legs. Yet we're meant to believe (tricked) he lost all that weight from eating yummy soups day in day out for a week.
I would LOVE (with capitals) for more and more people to start voting with their money.
So I ask you, how savvy are you as a parent or as an individual? Do you buy into the bogus false ads? Or do you see right through them and see them for what they truly are (lies and deception)?
That being said my son and I love these ads because it gives us something to chuckle over together and I'm teaching him how to be a savvy consumer.