When my daughter started watching television, I only let her watch Nick Jr. because its programming was geared toward preschoolers. It was “safe” because there were no commercials.
With the beginning of the school year, I noticed Nick Jr. started to air commercials. I was surprised and disappointed. While they showed only a few, they were hawking products nevertheless. I noticed my daughter was glued to these commercials because they were very entertaining (Dora’s playhouse! Fisher-Price rock ‘n roll toys! Winx Club dolls!).
Here is Nick Jr.’s explanation as stated on its website:
As always, Nick Jr.'s preschool shows remains the safe, educational place you and your kids have come to rely on. In order to create the highest-quality, educational and entertaining shows and characters for preschoolers, starting on October 1, we plan to carry limited advertising on Nick Jr. We've taken great care to ensure that we are being responsible in the ways we are adding advertising to Nick Jr. and keeping the educational experience intact for our preschool audience: The limited advertising on Nick Jr. will air well below the allotted commercial time set by the FCC; many of the commercials will be messages directly for parents, not kids; and this messaging will never appear within a program, only between shows.
Though Nick Jr. states that many of its commercials are targeted to moms, our children are still seeing them. Let’s get real – the reason Nick Jr. is airing these commercials is to generate ad revenue. I understand that it’s lucrative, but they just marred the one sacred spot that parents considered “pure” from commercialism.
Once my daughter graduates into older programming, she will have plenty of opportunities for commercials to influence her. For now, I'd like to keep her away from advertisements as long as possible. As a result of Nick Jr. “selling out” to advertisers, my daughter now watches more Disney Jr. which is commercial-free.
Do you think it matters if young children watch commercials?