Exploitative commercial television

Other Names:
Exploitation of viewers
Advertiser controlled television programming
Cultural debasement by media

The commercial exploitation of viewers by television is the result of the content of programmes being determined by their mass appeal, and by advertisers. Using mass appeal means that neither the best nor even the best liked programmes are made available. Producers create programmes that would be the second, third or even fifth choice of viewers because at this level of choice the most number of people would watch the programme. The most exploited audiences are children.


In the USA children spend more time watching television than any other activity than sleeping. Most of the programmes are designed to sell products and not serve in any way the educational or informational needs of children. Advertisers are becoming progressively more involved in programme making, with programmes being devised with the aid of market research to test their appeal to specific audiences.

Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST