Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Arabia: 50 Percent of Children’s Advertisements are Foreign | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Dr. Mohamed Bin Ali al Sowaid, member of the teaching staff of the media department at the Imam Mohamed Bin Saud Islamic University, asserted the dangers of television advertisements on satellite channels that target children and their impact on youth and their upbringing. In a working paper that he presented during the first conference on media education entitled ‘The image of the child in television and its relationship with social and educational values’, al Sowaid stated that 50% of these commercials are from foreign cultures and that this will have a negative impact on the values in the Arab community.

Al Sowaid pointed out that 12% of these commercials depicted scenes of free-mixing between the sexes, as well scenes that contain sexual connotations. He stated that 70% of these commercials promote foreign products and that 56% of children in these commercials are non-Arab.

Al Sowaid mentioned that an analytical study of commercials that are broadcast via a satellite channel for children was conducted over a period of four weeks for four hours a day. The study indicated that 95 commercials were frequently repeated, indicating that the frequency of broadcasting these advertisements would have a bad impact upon the education and upbringing of children, especially that these commercials were proved to have neglected religious, national, humanitarian, hygienic and other values.

The researcher called upon parents to be alert towards what is being depicted by these satellite channels. He recommended that more media attention be paid towards the content of all children’s programs.

For his part, Permanent Saudi Delegate to UNESCO Ziad Bin Abdullah al-Drees touched on the relationship between education and media. He pointed out that in the past there was supervision over the media to maintain values and public demeanour, however, the media has been able to dominate the situation.