Write an essay on the topic of the influences of media advertising on people’s behaviour.

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Write an essay on the topic of the influences of media advertising on people’s behaviour.


Ban on junk food ads introduced

BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7166510.stm

Published: 01.01.2008

The rules say adverts should not encourage excessive consumption. A ban on adverts for junk food during television programmes aimed at children under 16 has come into force.

Regulator Ofcom has outlawed adverts for foods high in fat, salt and sugar in an effort to tackle rising childhood obesity levels but broadcasters say the quality of children's programmes will be hit by the loss of an estimated £39m in advertising revenue. Health campaigners had called for a complete ban before the 9 p.m. watershed.

The move is the latest stage in a phased crackdown on advertising during programmes aimed at, or specifically appealing to, children. In April 2007, junk food ads were banned during programmes made to appeal to seven to nine-year-olds. By December this year, dedicated children's channels will have to phase them out altogether. Children's Secretary Ed Balls has said that UK children see some 10,000 television adverts a year and recognise 400 brands by the age of 10.

Terrestrial broadcasters have predicted their advertising revenue will fall by 1% after the ban. Child-orientated satellite channels expect a 9% drop, while commercial channels aimed entirely at children fear a 15% fall. Ofcom's rules impose curbs on adverts during shows where child viewers make up a high percentage of the total audience.

But in November, consumer group Which? claimed the restrictions were insufficient because they did not cover family programmes which appealed to both children and adults. Among these were high-profile shows such as The X Factor, Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, New You've Been Framed and Coronation Street.

Richard Watts from the Children's Food Campaign told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that 18 out of the top 20 shows watched by children were not covered by the new ban. "The rules are fantastically complicated and opaque for parents, " Mr. Watts said in endorsing a complete ban before the 9 p.m. watershed.

He accused Ofcom of balancing the protection of children's health alongside the "financial health" of broadcasters.

In addition to scheduling restrictions, Ofcom plans to ban the use of celebrities and characters, such as cartoon heroes, to advertise unhealthy food. Free gifts and health or nutrition claims will also be banned. A Food Standards Agency ratings system is used to assess which foods are deemed to be junk products.

Please answer the following questions:

1. What age group of people is the ban on adverts for junk food aimed at?

2. Why were the adverts banned?

3. Do broadcasters expect losses as a result of the ban?

4. When were junk food ads banned in programmes made to appeal to seven to nine – year – olds?

5. How many brands can English children recognise by the age of 10?

6. How many television adverts a year do English children watch?

7. Which channels do expect to suffer great losses?

8. Why did the consumer group “Which?” claim the restrictions were insufficient?

9. What does Ofcom plan to do next?

10. Do you think that the adverts of junk food should be banned in Russia?



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Write an essay which compares and contrasts the American national character with the Russian national character.


The American Character

From the Speak Out magazine

What are Americans like? What do Americans like? "But wait," some readers say. "In this huge nation of people from everywhere, is there really a national character?"

There is great diversity in the ethnic makeup of America. Nevertheless, many writers have generalized about typical American values, attitudes, and beliefs. For example, Mortimer B. Zuckerman, editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report, sees his country as "a culture of self-reliance, independence, resourcefulness, pragma­tism, and novelty." He goes on to describe his fel­low Americans in greater detail. "We are com­fortable with change and with people who make things happen. In America, the new is better than the old; taking charge is valued over playing it safe; making money is superior to inheriting it; educa­tion and merit are favoured over family ties."

The most important characteristic of the U.S.A. can be stated in one word: diversity. Most Americans take pride in the great variety found in the country's geography and population. Covering 9,590,000 square kilometres, the U.S. is the fourth-largest nation in the world (after Russia, China, and Canada). Within this vast country are tall mountains and flat fields, deserts and tropical regions, prairies and forests... The cli­mate, too, covers all extremes. In southern Florida, visitors come to swim and sunbathe in December. In northern Alaska, winter temperatures may drop to -24° C.

With more than 275 million people, the U.S. is the third-largest nation in population after China and India. About 90% of the people now living in the U.S. were born there. Still, the U.S. has one of the world's most varied populations. It is about 82% white, 13% black, 12% Hispanic, 4% Asian, and 1% Native American. Some newcomers to the U.S. may be surprised by the varieties of skin colour they see, but Americans take it for granted. Racism and prejudice are still serious problems in the U.S.; however, most Americans believe in the ideals of equality and mutual respect.

Regional variations also add diversity to the American character. Travel around the country and you'll notice differences in language, cooking styles, recreation, and even character.

To start with nothing, to work hard, and then to make a fortune — this is the American dream. People in the U.S.A. want more than anything else to be suc­cessful. And when they've made their money, they like to show it off by driving expensive cars and buying beautiful furniture for their homes.

One bad result of this is that people never seem to stop working. Some even hold two full-time jobs at the same time. This means that there is not much time for the good things in life, such as hours spent with one's family. Few families play games together, go for walks together, or even sit down every evening around the family table for a home-cooked meal.

The good result, though, is the confidence that many Americans have in themselves. They seem to feel that they can do anything, and get whatever they want if they try hard enough. It may take a lot of hard work to do well in America, but it's certainly exciting.

The great American novelist and humorist Mark Twain described the typical English­man or - woman as a "person who does things because they have been done before" and the typ­ical American as "a person who does things because they haven't been done before." Americans love to try something new out of curiosity and a belief that newer may be better.

As a nation of immigrants, the U.S. has had a continual influx of people with a pioneering spir­it. In the nineteenth century, this spirit led American settlers to make the long, difficult, and dangerous journey westward in search of gold or free land. The desire to make a fresh start in a new place is still noticeable throughout the nation. About 42 million Americans change resi­dences every year. Some people move because they change jobs or go off to college. Others move to find adventure or a more pleasant climate. The pioneering spirit of Americans can be seen in the working world, too. Employees change jobs and even careers as opportunities change.

Americans love science and technology because these fields involve new discoveries.

Watching Americans in action, foreigners sometimes see behaviour that seems rude or just plain silly. Among them are the following traits.

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry. Almost every American wears a watch, and, in nearly every room in an American home, there's a clock. "Be on time." "Don't waste time." "Time is money." "Time waits for no one." All these familiar say­ings reflect the American obsession with promptness and efficiency. Students displease their teachers and employees displease their bosses when they arrive late. This desire to get the most out of every minute often makes Americans impatient when they have to wait. It also makes it difficult for Americans to relax.

The desire to save time and do work more quickly and easily leads Americans to buy many kinds of machines — from office equipment such as calculators, photocopy machines, and computers to dozens of home and personal appli­ances, such as microwave ovens.

The Importance of Money. After visiting the U.S. in the 1830s, the French historian Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, "I know of no country . . . where the love of money has taken stronger hold ..." Americans are often accused of being materialistic, of valuing wealth and possessions above all else. Money is valued both as a symbol of success and also for a more obvious reason—its purchasing power. Purchases are made in order to "keep up with the Joneses," to show friends that one can afford a big­ger house or a better car. Also, advertising encour­ages people to keep buying things far beyond what they need. In the nineteenth century, the American author Henry David Thoreau advised his country­men, "Simplify your needs!" However, Americans have moved in the opposite direction. Now, just as Thoreau predicted, many find that their posses­sions own them. They must work hard to earn enough money to buy and maintain the many pos­sessions they consider necessities.

Yes, Americans love to make a lot of money and spend it on themselves—to buy things that save time, give them pleasure, or serve as status symbols. However, Americans are also very generous and very willing to donate money to good causes.

Say What You Mean, and Mean What You Say. Americans believe that "honesty is the best policy." They are direct and assertive. They ask for what they want. Children often argue with their parents and citizens express opposition to actions of the government. If the soup is cold or the meat is tough, the diner can complain to the waiter.

If a teacher is wrong or confusing, a student may say so. If the boss makes a mistake, an employee may politely point it out.

The Need to Win. The extremely competitive nature of Americans is often criticized. Of course, competition isn't always bad. But the desire to get ahead of others sometimes causes people to do things that are unkind and even dishonest.

The Practical Outlook. Americans admire what is practical, fast, efficient, and new. Sometimes they cannot understand cultures that prefer more traditional, leisurely ways of doing things. People from other cultures, on the other hand, may dislike the practical, hectic American lifestyle.

Despite these traits, which many foreigners may view as faults, Americans are usually considered very likable. Most are friendly, kind-hearted, and eager to help visitors and immigrants. In this nation of immigrants, the foreigner does not remain an outsider for long.


THE U.S.A. Customs and Institutions by E.Tiersky and M.Tiersky © Pearson Education Company


Please answer the following questions:

1. How can you describe Americans?

2. What percentage of the people in the USA were born there, and how many people does this represent?

3. What does the American dream mean?

4. How did Mark Twain describe the typical Englishman and the typical American?

5. Why do some people change residences every year?

6. Do Americans love to make a lot of money?

7. What are the traits of American character?

8. Do Americans have serious problems in the U.S.A.? What are they?

9. What does the expression “to keep up with Joneses” mean?

10. Are Americans direct and assertive people or secret and unassertive (shy)?


Translate into English:

1. Мы рады переменам и рады людям, которые делают такие перемены.

2. Самая главная характеристика может быть выражена одним словом – разнообразие.

3. Начать с нуля, работать усердно и сделать состояние – это Американская мечта.

4. Когда Американцы заработают деньги, они любят показывать это окружающим, управляя дорогими машинами и покупая дорогую мебель для своих домов.

5. Кажется, они чувствуют, что они могут сделать все, что угодно, достичь, чего бы они ни пожелали, если они приложат для этого все свои силы.

6. Желание начать все заново, «с нуля», на новом месте все еще очень примечательная черта нации.

7. Желание сэкономить время и сделать работу более легко и быстро побуждает Американцев покупать разные виды приспособлений, от офисного оборудования, такого как калькуляторы, копиры и компьютеры, до дюжины домашних и личных приборов, таких как микроволновые печи.

8. Деньги ценят как символ успеха, а также по более очевидной причине – за их покупательную стоимость.

9. Реклама побуждает людей покупать вещи, далеко не являющимися предметами первой необходимости.

10. Американцы верят, что «честность – лучшая политика».



Прочитайте и переведите текст. Ответьте на вопросы после текста письменно. Выпишите ключевые лексико-грамматические конструкции. Составьте план текста. Ответьте на следующие вопросы:

How is the text headlined?

What is the text under discussion devoted to?

What issues does the text touch upon?

What does the author dwell on at the beginning?

What is the key-note of the text?

What does the author conclude the text with?

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