Advertising Ethics 2 Essay

3863 Words Mar 4th, 2011 16 Pages
One of the most controversial areas of marketing has long been that of advertising to children. Today, advertisers are focusing their ads at younger and younger audiences, many of whom are still in diapers. The reason that adverters are targeting younger and younger children is that they are trying to establish “brand-name preference” at as early of an age as possible. (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2006) Marketers are now using psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists and behavioral scientists as a way of shaping and cementing a child’s brand preference. (Barbaro & Earp, 2008) These “child experts” draw from developmental psychology principles in order to persuade children that they need a certain product. (Dittmann, 2004) …show more content…
(American Academy of Pediatrics, 1995) Today, whole TV networks are devoted to children and in the last few years, the Internet has developed as a new medium which has the potential for advertisers to not only “talk at kids”, but to also talk and interact with them. Advertisers now see TV and print ads as a way for them to drive children to websites where they are able to play games, take quizzes and talk to friends in an online community completely dedicated to their product. (The History of Kids and Advertising) Many may wonder why it is that advertisers put such a focus on children. The reason for this is that, children are the largest and fastest-growing market for consumption. (Zoll, 2000) Children also have a tremendous amount of spending power, which makes them an important target group for consumer companies. According to James U. McNeal, a professor of marketing at Texas A&M, children represent three different strategies for making money. The obvious way that children spend is with their own money, they are also open to advertising campaigns that are designed to shape them into future consumers. The chart below illustrates children’s influential spending between the years of 1960 through 1999; this is the third strategy in which children represent a way to make money. (Zoll, 2000)

Children are often the ones who

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