Official 14 Passage 3


Children and Advertising


Cereal advertisements that include the statement "when part of a nutritionally balanced breakfast" are trying to suggest that

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  • A
    the cereal is a desirable part of a healthful, balanced breakfast
  • B
    the cereal contains equal amounts of all nutrients
  • C
    cereal is a healthier breakfast than other foods are
  • D
    the cereal is the most nutritious part of the breakfast meal
正确答案: A

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  • Young children are trusting of commercial advertisements in the media, and advertisers have sometimes been accused of taking advantage of this trusting outlook. The Independent Television Commission, regulator of television advertising in the United Kingdom, has criticized advertisers for "misleadingness"-creating a wrong impression either intentionally or unintentionally-in an effort to control advertisers' use of techniques that make it difficult for children to judge the true size, action, performance, or construction of a toy.

    General concern about misleading tactics that advertisers employ is centered on the use of exaggeration. Consumer protection groups and parents believe that children are largely ill-equipped to recognize such techniques and that often exaggeration is used at the expense of product information. Claims such as "the best" or "better than" can be subjective and misleading; even adults may be unsure as to their meaning. They represent the advertiser's opinions about the qualities of their products or brand and, as a consequence, are difficult to verify. Advertisers sometimes offset or counterbalance an exaggerated claim with a disclaimer-a qualification or condition on the claim. For example, the claim that breakfast cereal has a health benefit may be accompanied by the disclaimer "when part of a nutritionally balanced breakfast." However, research has shown that children often have difficulty understanding disclaimers: children may interpret the phrase "when part of a nutritionally balanced breakfast" to mean that the cereal is required as a necessary part of a balanced breakfast. The author George Comstock suggested that less than a quarter of children between the ages of six and eight years old understood standard disclaimers used in many toy advertisements and that disclaimers are more readily comprehended when presented in both audio and visual formats.Nevertheless, disclaimers are mainly presented in audio format only.

    Fantasy is one of the more common techniques in advertising that could possibly mislead a young audience. Child-oriented advertisements are more likely to include magic and fantasy than advertisements aimed at adults. In a content analysis of Canadian television, the author Stephen Kline observed that nearly all commercials for character toys featured fantasy play. Children have strong imaginations and the use of fantasy brings their ideas to life, but children may not be adept enough to realize that what they are viewing is unreal. Fantasy situations and settings are frequently used to attract children's attention, particularly in food advertising. Advertisements for breakfast cereals have, for many years, been found to be especially fond of fantasy techniques, with almost nine out of ten including such content. Generally, there is uncertainty as to whether very young children can distinguish between fantasy and reality in advertising. Certainly, rational appeals in advertising aimed at children are limited, as most advertisements use emotional and indirect appeals to psychological states or associations.

    The use of celebrities such as singers and movie stars is common in advertising. The intention is for the positively perceived attributes of the celebrity to be transferred to the advertised product and for the two to become automatically linked in the audience's mind. In children's advertising, the "celebrities" are often animated figures from popular cartoons. In the recent past, the role of celebrities in advertising to children has often been conflated with the concept of host selling. Host selling involves blending advertisements with regular programming in a way that makes it difficult to distinguish one from the other. Host selling occurs, for example, when a children's show about a cartoon lion contains an ad in which the same lion promotes a breakfast cereal. The psychologist Dale Kunkel showed that the practice of host selling reduced children's ability to distinguish between advertising and program material. It was also found that older children responded more positively to products in host selling advertisements.

    Regarding the appearance of celebrities in advertisements that do not involve host selling, the evidence is mixed. Researcher Charles Atkin found that children believe that the characters used to advertise breakfast cereals are knowledgeable about cereals, and children accept such characters as credible sources of nutritional information. This finding was even more marked for heavy viewers of television.In addition, children feel validated in their choice of a product when a celebrity endorses that product. A study of children in Hong Kong, however, found that the presence of celebrities in advertisements could negatively affect the children's perceptions of a product if the children did not like the celebrity in question.

  • 儿童信任媒体中的商业广告,可是广告商们有时会因利用这种信任常常受到指责。调控英国电视广告的独立电视委员会批评广告商们的误导作用——有意或无意地给人一种错误印象,努力控制广告商们利用技巧,因为技术处理之后的广告会使得儿童很难判断玩具的真实尺寸、功能、外观和构造。

    人们普遍担心广告商夸大其词的误导策略。消费者保护组织和家长们认为大部分孩子不具备识别这种手段的能力,而且他们认为这种夸大其词掩盖了相关产品信息。声称产品 “最好”或“好于其他产品”都是主观性强且容易产生误导即使是成年人可能也很难判别。广告语代表了广告商们对他们产品或品牌的看法,因此,这很难验证。广告商有时会通过补偿或者免责的形式来平衡夸大的说辞。举个例子,称早餐食用谷物食品对健康是有益的广告可能会附带一个免责声明“前提是早餐营养要均衡”。然而,研究发现儿童很难理解这类免责声明:儿童会将“前提是早餐营养要均衡”理解为谷类食物是均衡早餐营养的必需成份。作者George Comstock指出,六到八岁的儿童中能够理解大多数玩具广告的免责声明的不到四分之一。同时他也指出,如果免责声明以声音和视觉的形式同时呈现时就容易被理解。然而,它们多是以声音的形式出现。

    虚构是广告中常见的一种手段,很容易误导年轻观众。跟面向成人的广告相比,面向儿童的广告更有可能包含魔幻和虚构成分。通过分析加拿大的电视内容,作家Stephen kline注意到几乎所有的角色扮演玩具的商业广告都是以虚构效果呈现。儿童有着丰富的想象力,虚构手段将他们的想法带入生活,但儿童可能无法认识到他们所看到的并不真实。虚构的情景和环境常常用于吸引儿童的注意,特别是食物广告。多年以来,谷类早餐的广告尤其钟爱虚构手段,十有八九都包含虚构内容。一般来看,幼童是否能够区别广告中的虚构和现实部分仍然不能确定。当然,可以确定的是,由于大部分广告都采取情感吸引产生精神共鸣的手段,面向儿童的广告中理性吸引就显得很受限制。

    广告中常常使用名人如歌星和电影明星。目的是将名人的正面认知属性转移到广告产品上,并使两者在观众的脑海中自动联系起来。在儿童广告中,“名人”通常是流行卡通片中的卡通人物。在过去几年里,儿童广告中名人的作用常常与“主角”销售理念混为一谈。“主角”销售混合了常规广告,因此两者很难区分。举例来说,当关于一个卡通狮子的儿童节目中出现一则广告,而这则广告中是同一个卡通狮子在兜售谷类早餐的话,这就属于“主角”销售。心理学家Dale Kunkel指出,“主角”销售大大降低了儿童辨别广告和节目内容的能力。人们还发现,年龄较大的儿童对“主角”销售的广告更为认可。

    至于名人代言广告并不涉及“主角”销售,证据是复杂的。研究员Charles Atkin发现,儿童认为卡通人物对广告中的谷类早餐非常了解,并且认为它们是营养信息的可靠来源。这一发现对沉溺电视的观众来说是一种警示。除此以外,名人代言的产品儿童也会非常认同。然而,对香港儿童的研究发现,如果儿童不喜欢广告中的名人,那么他代言的广告可能反而在儿童中产生负面影响。
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    题干分析:关键词:Cereal advertisementsto suggest

    选项分析:回到题干高亮部分的句子For example, the claim that breakfast cereal has a health benefit may be accompanied by the disclaimer "when part of a nutritionally balanced breakfast”这部分是例子是为了论证前文的内容,往前看Advertisers sometimes offset or counterbalance an exaggerated claim with a disclaimer—a qualification or condition on the claim.”(广告商有时会通过补偿或者免责的形式来平衡夸大的说辞),但这部分不是目的,后面倒数第三句有提及children may interpret the phrase “when part of a nutritionally balanced breakfast” to mean that the cereal is required as a necessary part of a balanced breakfast.孩子们会将广告词误读为cereal是均衡早餐不可或缺的一部分”符合选项A的表述。