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Feb 24, 2016

Advertising is everywhere nowadays. Most of us are used to seeing advertisements every day. Having coffee with one of my friends a week ago, I saw an amusing advertisement for the coffee shop. It wasn't pushy(1), or overly dramatic, but just funny. It's actually the photo for today's podcast. It made me think of a unit of study that I was helping to teach recently. The students were learning about the science of advertising to children in the U.S. Apparently, there are no regulations(2) to protect children from the influences of adverts. Psychologists and child development experts are also employed by advertising agencies to make sure that advertisements for children are irresistible(3) to them. We watched a video series about the subject, and then the students and I had a discussion. So often, it seems, advertising is not accurate. And here there is an overwhelming amount of advertising, especially on television. We recently cancelled our television contract, so now, we don't have regular channels; instead, we have apps, so we can choose specific programs. Why is that better than television channels? Simply, there are no commercials, and no awful news flashes. If I want to hear the news, I listen to a podcast, or I watch a news app. I realized, just the other day, how much more peaceful our house is. Imagine a house with no commercials or advertising! It's like being on vacation. My youngest children ask for things less, because they no longer see products like toys advertised. When I finished teaching the unit, I asked the students if they will now have a different opinion of the advertising they see in shops and on television. "Oh yes!" was their group reply. Just by learning about it, they are now more informed about the big business behind the powerful machine of advertising.

1. 'Pushy' means 'aggressive' or 'insistent'.

a. I bought an iPad even though I didn't plan to. The sales representative was so pushy!

b. I feel as though she just wants to argue. She is so pushy about everything.

2. 'Regulation' is like a restriction that is the law.

a. If we build a house, we must follow the size regulation, otherwise, we'll get into trouble.

b. Seat belts and speed limits are all forms of regulation.

3. 'Irresistible' means that it is impossible to avoid or not want.

a. Lindt uses the very best ingredients in their chocolates; they are irresistible.

b. Our perfume is extracted from camels' ears and goats' nostrils; it will make you irresistible.

If you're interested, click here to watch the informational trailer.