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Is it ethical to market to children?

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  1. Introduction
  2. The lack of a consolidated character
  3. The parents' intervention and responsibility
  4. Teaching children to punish parents
  5. Conclusion

For-profit corporations increasingly tend to infiltrate (overtly and subliminally) our lives. One example of their interference is marketing strategies aimed at children. Adult consumers are like roaches: they tend to become ?immune? to classical marketing strategies and advertisements. Today, corporations tend to by-pass this phenomenon by marketing to children instead: money is indirectly extracted from adults by manipulating their children. There are two main reasons why marketing strategies target children: because of the persuasive power children have over their parents, and because they simply are easier to manipulate. At this point we have to ask ourselves: is it ethical to market to children? Should children be protected from being marketed to?

[...] Unfortunately, it is impossible to completely isolate children from marketing strategies. Thus education has to play the role of a filter against these external ?inputs' that try to corrupt the very young. Ironically, the industry is teaching children to punish parents. By saying parents tend to feel bad and sometimes even unjust considering the increasing urge with which their child expresses his wishes. In fact, it becomes progressively harder for parents to educate their children in a more frugal and less materialistic way. [...]

[...] It is essential for children to develop their own skills and imagination, without any external pressure, whether from television programs or corporations' management strategies. According to me, parents' intervention and responsibility is essential. While advertisements transmit the idea that children need a certain product, parents have to make use of their authority and oppose their child's nagging. First of all, children will get spoiled if all their wishes are their parents' command. Secondly, children need to understand and respect the limits imposed by parents. [...]

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