From "Channel One: Misconceptions Three" by Hugh Rank, English Journal (April 1992):
Most people see ads as petty annoyances or interuptions--bothersome, but trivial, unimportant, unworthy of serious consideration... they're "just" ads.
Ads, however, are "units of persuasion." If we had seriously thought of ads in this way, we might not have allowed them to be in our schools or to appear on children's television programs. We certainly don't tolerate strangers on the street walking up to our kids and trying to sell them something. But most parents have grown accustomed to using TV as a free babysitter. And many parents have passively accepted the idea of the ads accompanying the cartoons as simply being "harmful trade-offs"--just as long as the ads are not grossly deceptive or the products grossly defective.
But ads are units of persuasion--commercial persuasion. If churches or political parties were to offer public schools an information package like Channel One offered them--with ten minutes of news and two minutes of religious or political persuasion--there would certainly be a widespread and outraged response. We don't want our kids to be targeted by the professional persuaders of some group promoting their beliefs and behaviors. But commercial persuasion also promotes beliefs and behaviors that have significant, and sometimes harmful, effects on the individual, family, and society.
Parent's Magazine. The caption reads: "Honey, I'm Home!" If your child
hasn't moved from his seat, your trip was a success.