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Advertising to Children: is it ethical?

April 11, 2012

An interesting topic that was discussed in my consumer behavior class yesterday was the social influences of marketing to children.  There are many controversial issues on who is to blame for children getting exposed to our advertisement-filled world. Is it the marketers who are the bad guys and exposing children to harmful messages, wanting to begin building brand loyalty at a young age or are these brand behaviors a result of the parents behaviors allowing children to see such advertisements? Some may say that children are going to be exposed to these advertisements at school, through friends or just observing society, so parents shouldn’t shelter their children. On the other hand, many parents aren’t inclined to promote these advertisements and want to limit their exposure.

Here’s a video on one example of a product that is being marketed to children. The Bratz doll has implicit suggestions that some parents agree are not appropriate for their children:


What are your thoughts about marketing to children? Is it up to parents to protect their children from the inappropriate advertisements that children are exposed to? Or should marketers be the ones to change their style and messages?


One Comment leave one →
  1. April 12, 2012 12:45 pm

    I think that parents have the main say, however, being a marketer myself I disagree with marketers who make ads that are inappropriate for kids to see. When making ads for children I always make one that I wouldn’t mind my child seeing.
    On the other hand, parents do have the final say in what they buy their children. Just because their child sees something on the TV and wants it doesn’t mean they have to buy it.
    Most ads that run during children’s programing is ok. Unfortunately it isn’t all. But if a child sees an inappropriate ad during an adult’s program then that is not the advertisers or marketers fault it is the parents.

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