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The Research of Advertising Regulation for Children Television in Taiwan
Supervision from civil society
Television, one of mass media, occupies most of children’s time. Thus, children are easily and frequently exposed to TV advertising. According to the survey, food advertising on TV in 2010, which was proceeded by The Child Welfare League Foundation, indicated that children in Taiwan averagely have watched over 33,696 advertising per year. Therefore, the impact of television advertising on children cannot be overlooked. Early childhood plays an important role for children to develop their cognition. Television advertising not only shapes children’s life style and the habit of consumption but influences parent-child interaction. Furthermore, TV commercials, especially on the food products, also cause children’s obesity problem. So far, many countries, including countries in Europe, USA, Australia, and South Korea, have regulated television adverting for children. In Taiwan, the concern of the impact of media on children has increased in recent years. National Communications Commission has already announced the White Paper on the Rights and Interests of Communication Policy for Children and Teenager in which children advertising regulations have been included. However, regulations on children advertising in Taiwan leave much to be desired. Thus, this thesis focuses on the modification and supplementary on current regulations, taking American and European countries as reference, to give suggestions to policy in the future. There are three parts in this research. First, in chapter two, the definition of children and children advertising have been given. Children’s cognition development process and the impact of adverting on children are also presented in this chapter. In chapter three, we not only focus on the development and current situation in children advertising industry, but the differences of social, politic, and economic situation between USA, countries in Europe, and Taiwan. Finally, we analyze the regulation in USA, countries in Europe, and Taiwan, including legislation, self-regulation, and supervision from civil society, to find out how to reform the children’s adverting regulation in our country. The findings of this research: 1.Current TV advertising regulations mainly depend on legislation, lacking of the self-regulation from the industry and supervision from civil society. Thus, this research suggests that the future children advertising regulation system should integrate self-regulation, legislation, and the supervision from civil society. Based on legislation, self-regulation should be set as priority. 2.So far, the problem of self-regulation system is that there are no external self-regulation mechanisms for children advertising in Taiwan. Thus, Building an external self-regulation mechanisms is of top importance, and which should include guideline, channels for audience to give their suggestions or complains, and judgmental system with effective punishment program. Above all, we can use the media performance as the standard for license renewal to strengthen the enforcement in self-regulation system. 3.Current law aims at general advertising. However, the advertising for children should be further regulated and the children communication act should be made. The legislation should take children’s character, value of consumption, and discrimination into consideration. Besides, ads for drugs, health foods, or online game should also be regulated. Finally, to avoid the interaction between commercial earnings and children’s programs quality, we suggest good children programs be rewarded regularly by the government. 4.As for the supervision from civil society, social welfare groups play a vital role on child’s rights and interests. But the powers are scattered. In that, social welfare groups should target on integration and proper division of labor. On the other hand, the audience and media employees also need to equip themselves with media literacy. Besides, the composition of the Television Programs and Advertisings Advisory Committee of National Communications Commission requires more diversity. The government should listen to opinions from children ads industries to understand the trend of commercial industries, and to know how self-regulation can be conducted. What is more, this action also encourages the communication between government and industries.
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