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Over the last three decades, a substantial body of research has accumulated seeking to address how exactly advertising, and in particular television advertising, influences children. Yet, given the diversity of methodologies used and the findings presented, it has been suggested that a common consensus on how exactly advertising affects children has not been reached (Gunter and Furnham 1998). This paper presents a brief overview of the literature addressing children's understanding of advertising with a view to identifying the contributions to date in this area and the accompanying gaps, omissions and under-researched perspectives. Findings are then presented from an exploratory study of eight and nine year old children with a view to providing a description of how they relate to television advertising. This qualitative study is part of an ongoing research project focusing on children of this age group.