By Diana Hsieh
Should the government regulate advertising to children? Most people think that advertising products to children is morally wrong, if not coercive. They say that the government should regulate or even ban such advertising to protect children and parents from pushy advertisers. In the case of junk food, for example, people claim that children are not old enough to understand the damage that junk food does to their health. Therefore, they claim, children must be protected. While I can understand forbidding advertising drugs or liquor to children, to forbid food advertisements seems like a violation of individual rights. So should the government have any role in regulating advertisements directed at children?My Answer, In Brief: The fact that children might be misled by advertising cannot justify regulating or banning it. The free speech rights of people engaged in business ought to be recognized and protected, and parents ought to actually parent their children.
Download or Listen to My Full Answer:
- Duration: 9:03
- Download: MP3 Segment
A podcast of the full episode – where I answered questions on overcoming weakness of will, deductive reasoning, advertising to children, medicine in a free society, and more – is available as a podcast here: Episode of 12 August 2012.
Philosophy in Action Radio broadcasts every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. For information on upcoming shows and more, visit the Episodes on Tap.