Children as young as five should be taught to understand the language of the media and how advertisers may try to reach them, according to a Midlands-based expert.
According to Steve Fuller, a sociology professor at Warwick University near Coventry, the evolution of smart advertising campaigns aimed specifically at children calls for an adaption in the education system to ensure children are prepared, reports the Observer.
Mr Fuller said using a classroom setting to help children understand how advertising works could reduce their susceptibility to campaigns across the media spectrum.
The expert told the paper: "[Media literacy] should have the same significance as reading, writing and numeracy skills - a fundamental skill that all people need to be considered fully functioning adults."
He added that teaching media literacy in classrooms could also help children make sense of the political arena in later life.
In other news, two Swanage primary schools may be merged to avoid closures that would otherwise be caused by falling pupil numbers.
Written by Tim Colman.