Essay about Unethical Practices in Marketing to Children

2828 Words Mar 29th, 2007 12 Pages
Unethical Practices in Marketing to Children
When I was a child, my famous answer to the inevitable "What do you want to be when you grow up" question was "a teacher". My brother wanted to be a race car driver and my cousin – an actress. Years ago, I would ask the same question and they would usually tend similar responses. Times have changed, however. More and more, children have adapted to the arguably unsettling reality of dollar awareness and when the famous question is raised, the more likely answer these days is "to make money". (Clay 1) Disconcerting as it may be, we have clearly entered into a new way of life, where materialism has penetrated even the innocent aspirations of a child. It is no secret that that child is now
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At that age, only sights and sounds are being processed. However, by 12 to 15 months, most children can begin to recall some of these items. This stage ends when children understand that a visit to the market may produce rewards beyond the stimulation cause by the environment.

Stage II: Making Requests At this stage (median age is two years), children being requesting items in the store from their parents. They use pointing and gesturing as well as statements to indicate that they want an item. Throughout most of this stage, children make requests only when the item is physically present, as they do not yet carry mental images of the products in their minds. In the latter months of stage II, they begin to make requests for items at home, particularly when they are seen on television.

Stage III: Making Selections Actually getting an item off the shelf without assistance is the first act of an independent consumer (median age is three and a half years). At its simplest level, a child's desire is triggered by an item in this or her immediate presence and this item is selected. Soon, however, children begin to remember the store location of desirable items, and they are allowed to go to those areas independently or to lead the parent there.

Stage IV: Making Assisted Purchases

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