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Parliamentary questions
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9 June 2015
Question for written answer E-009285-15
to the Commission
Rule 130
Biljana Borzan (S&D)

 Subject:  Protection of children on the EU market — advertising
 Answer in writing 

Although direct selling to the youngest consumers is on the blacklist of unfair trading practices and therefore prohibited, children are still being showered with advertisements. Marketing tactics have shifted from simple direct persuasion, the message being that a given product is the best, to ‘symbolic’ advertising, which seeks to convince children that they are worth as much as the products bought for them: that is why products are shown in films with superheroes or popular singers appear in advertisements. Legislation needs to be adapted to allow for this situation.

Indirect advertising of this sort, which is not regulated, is being aimed at an ever younger target group, among other things to develop brand loyalty. Children are themselves consumers, but they also have a great influence on what their parents buy. That is why they are increasingly featuring in advertisements for cars, domestic appliances, and so on.

Experts have established that, because selling to children has been abandoned entirely to market forces, bombardment with advertisements has come to be associated with a greater tendency to suffer from disturbed concentration, diabetes, and depression, even in adulthood.

Is the Commission planning to control this kind of advertising and exploitation of children to increase sales?

Original language of question: HR 
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