Is Advertising to children ethical?

Essay by LJayneUniversity, Bachelor's June 2003

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Is Advertising to children Ethical?

"In 1750 BC, the code of Hammurabi made it a crime punishable by death to sell any thing to a child without first obtaining a power of an attorney. Now selling products has become business as usual."

Advertising is all around us from the day we are born to the day we die. Advertising is a way in which companies are able to introduce products to the market and it also gives us (as the consumer) a chance to explore the never ending myriad of products available.

Within advertising there is a major growing concern in relation to the marketing ethics where children are concerned. Spending billions of dollars a year on products, children are becoming not only the world's greatest consumers but also the world's most targeted individuals for marketing purposes.

Some believe that although the child is young and impressionable, there's nothing wrong with advertising to children.

Others believe that advertising to children is a form of exploitation, believing that children are vulnerable and naïve. It all comes down to choice. This debate is an on going one, with 'tunnel vision' views from either sides, here we explore the possibilities and ethics of advertising to children.

Influence through the ages:

Children (those under 18) in Australia influence more than 70% of their parent's purchases and have an average of $31.60 to spend each week. It is also estimated that children between the ages of 10 and 17 spend around $3.3 billion every year. Children in the US pay out about $100 billion of their own and their families money.

Instead of viewing children as young individuals who need to be nurtured, there is found to be a shift to the view that children are purely economically based and therefore can be used as...