Effects of Advertising on Children Today

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Children and Today's Advertisement
MG6500: Marketing Administration
June 14, 2009

Today’s marketing is very different from yesterday marketing. This paper will discuss how marketing has change through the years. Who are the marketers of today really targeting and are there method ethical, what marketers’ responsibility to society are and what parents are doing to feed this frenzy.

Children and Today's Advertisement
Since children are vulnerable, they have been targeted by marketers to make profits. Marketers view children as being strong and powerful consumers, therefore; messages are aimed at children in order to promote various sales. Although children do not understand the concept of money, marketers are still persistent in marketing to them (Gunter & Furnham, 1998). “In addition children do not have the ability to understand the true nature of advertisement” (Hawkins, Best, & Coney, 2004, p 731). Children are targeting audiences therefore marketers and companies must considerer ethical issues when they market their products (Gunter & Furnham, 1998). How Marketers Reach Children and Adolescents:

Marketers are extremely interested in children as consumers because children themselves spend billions of dollars annually, influence household purchases, and are future adult consumers ( Wilkie, 1994). According to (McNeal & Yeh, 1993, p 36) “…a lifetime customer may be worth $100,000 to a retailer.” Hence, the advertising industry aggressively pursues efforts to understand and anticipate the needs and desires of young consumers (McNeal & Yeh, 1993). With more sophisticated market research techniques, the marketers have gained a wealth of information about children and teenagers. A review of the research methods marketers’ use provides insight into the type of information they seek: information that allows them to design marketing strategies for young consumers (McNeal & Yeh, 1993). Various Avenues Marketers Use to Target Children and Adolescents: According to Kraak & Pelletire (1998) successful marketing is based on correctly representing customer lifestyles and making products relevant to their lives. A range of advertising styles, techniques, and channels are used to reach children and youth to foster brand loyalty and encourage product use. Some approaches are market segmentation; television advertising; sales promotions at schools, stores, and sporting events; multimedia exposure; celebrity endorsement; kid's clubs; product placement; and advertorials. Also, retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, the media, schools, and corporate donors are creating mutually beneficial partnerships to gain access to, and capture the attention of, young consumers. One of their goals is to develop a market for tomorrow's adult consumers (Kraak & Pelletier, 1998). Some Companies that Target Children and Adolescents:

Marketers plant the seeds of brand recognition in very young children, in the hopes that the seeds will grow into lifetime relationships (Media Awareness Network, 2009, p 2). (Pidd, 2007, p 1) states, “brands such as MacDonald’s, starburst, Haribo and Skittles are using the internet to target children. New rules from the media regulator have made it hard to advertise during shows that are designed for children’s television.” According to the (Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 2005), children are uniquely vulnerable to the marketing of low-nutrition foods. Furthermore many children lack the skills and maturity to understand the complexities of good health and nutrition or to appreciate the long term consequence of their actions. Consequently, children of different ages face diverse challenges to healthful eating and different vulnerabilities to food marketing. Young children do not understand the persuasive intent of advertising/marketing and are easily misled. Older...
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