Advertising To Young Consumers – Ethical or Not?

We are bombarded with countless ads on TV, online, on the radio and in print. We see so many advertisements each day it’s almost impossible to keep track of them. These ads are targeted towards many different audiences of consumers to sell certain products, like Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign is clearly targeted toward women, and Old Spice is targeted toward men. The commercials aired on TV make it obvious. One of the sneakiest ways the industry makes their money is by advertising to children. But is it ethical?

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From a business’ perspective, it’s definitely smart to advertise to children. Toddlers at home, sitting in front of their cartoons on TV watching commercials for the newest toys can easily persuade their parents to buy it for them. They do not know any better. However, it can be argued that advertisements directed at kids are taking advantage of them. For example, a Disneyland commercial would be irresistible for a young child who has never visited the theme park. I’m sure Disney creates their ads with kids in mind, therefore they use techniques and tools that specifically attract kids. It’s inevitable that they bring up those kinds of ads with their parents.

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 Advertisers know that kids are inherently very trusting of what they see and hear. Children don’t take much into consideration when they are faced with an appealing ad or commercial. Money or need for a product vs. wanting a product are not concepts that they understand. They are the perfect kind of buyers in the eyes of business.

I don’t think that directing advertisements at children is very ethical, however, I don’t foresee any changes in the industry in the future. Companies will always create products for kids, and there will always be a need to market these products so that the public knows about them. Because of children’ nature, I don’t think there is a way to introduce products to them in a way that is completely innocent.

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