It’s Saturday morning around 7:45. My kids (8 and 5) are watching Popular Mechanics for Kids, their favourite show. I’m not watching with them, but I’m sitting in the kitchen reading the newspaper, and I can hear the TV, and I have been in a couple of times to see what they wanted for breakfast, and stuff like that. During this show, there have been commercials that featured scantily-clad models (for an HD TV), feminine hygiene products, and even one for Viagra. I’m no prude, but there is no way that a Viagra commercial should be aired during a show that contains “For Kids” in the title.
I sent an email to the National Geographic Channel telling them that someone needs to revisit the types of commercials that are aired during kids programming. Not only are these completely inappropriate for kids, but totally pointless from a marketing perspective. Their sponsors pay them for a certain amount of air time or a certain number of commercials played — would they be happy that their commercials are being played to an audience that has no chance of buying their product? It’s not even that kids have little money are so aren’t likely to go out and buy these products — that’s true for many toys that are advertised as well. But the kids aren’t going to ask for these things for Christmas or birthdays, which is pretty much the sole purpose of toy commercials. Do the manufacturers think that the kids are going to think “Hey, maybe for Christmas I’ll buy mommy some of these Always with Wings, since the women in the commercial seem pretty happy about them”?
I’m not one of those parents who wants to shield their kids from the “evils” of the world so much that the kids grow up in a bubble. (If I were, I’d be pointing them at Conservapedia.) But at the same time, some things are simply inappropriate for kids. The Viagra commercials may not be explicit (they’re entirely innuendo, which my kids don’t get, though I think most of them are quite funny), but I still think they fall into this category.