Media Report: TV Ads Corrupting Our Children's Minds
A local Egyptian paper has accused certain ads seen on Egypt's satellite channels of “corrupting children's minds."
The Egyptian Gazette asks whether some of the ads, like one showing a girl with a chocolate bar trying to tempt a young boy, are “really the message young Egyptians should be getting?
Sociologists certainly do not think so. Researchers cited by the paper argue that Egyptian TV often broadcasts commercials that contradict traditional values, which can have a negative impact on children.
If ads reflect reality, Egyptian women belong in the kitchen, every morning should start with a heaping spoonful of butter, and the mobile phone is a compulsory prosthetic device.
Fekry Abdel Aziz, a psychology professor, warns against the role of the media during childhood.
Abdel Aziz was quoted by the Gazette as saying that "children are very bright and they try to imitate people around them. With the declining role of the family and the increase in TV viewing, children often emulate actors and become obsessed with certain characters."
A UN report warns that media is a mirror of society, depicting and participating in every element of the social system and its institutions. The report concludes that the media may accurately reflect the existence of a negative value in society, but may inadvertently promote the value to its viewers.
With this in mind, the report urges authorities to study the media from various economic and social perspectives.
More examples of the corrupting ads were given by the daily, including one about a hair care product that shows a schoolboy staring at his female colleague's silky hair without paying attention to anything his teacher is saying.
Other ads feature protagonists with naughty or immoral traits, whose charisma, wit and slyness makes their actions appealing to youth. Humor revolving around petty theft, deception and womanizing sends a message not only that society is willing to tolerate such things, but also that such acts are quick tickets to popularity.
Reaching adolescence is little comfort, as teenagers searching for a sense of identity and belonging are even more vulnerable to media manipulation, said the daily.
During this stage, they cling to foreign ideas, the stranger and more provocative the better, he said. TV is ready to oblige, offering a menu of western ideas through commercials, movies and serials.
Kameli Shokry, an expert on women and developmental affairs, criticized the way the media, especially commercials, portray women.
She told the paper that women are depicted as sex objects in these ads.
Ads jam-packed with beautiful women in revealing outfits present the image that women should emphasize their sexuality, and those who do not are undesirable, she told the daily - Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)