Is Advertising to Children Ethical?

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With the advancement of technology, people expose in the world full of advertisement. Watching television, listening to radio and even walking on the street, people are shown with variety of advertisements. However, one issue which deserves our careful thought, with the prevalence of advertisement, is whether the advertising method to children is ethical. Many people, these days, criticize that marketers take advantage of immature mind of children to promote their products. Many report showed that children under the age of eight do not understand the intrinsic bias of advertising and children tend to believe that the information in advertisement is true and accurate. Marketers use this point to promote products to children. That McDonald’s promotes its food as healthy and balanced is a flawless illustration. Although, a burger really contained vegetables and meat and it seems to be a balanced diet, the energy of a burger and the sugar contained in the drink far exceeds a children need a day. Marketers often hide the disadvantages of the product but only promote the bright side of the product. The information mentioned in the advertisement will stay in children minds and be strengthened with repeated exposures. Advertisement can affect children cognizance to that product. A research done by Dr Tom N. Robinson, a professor in Stanford University, can prove this point. In the study, 63 children aged 3-5 years old taste exact same McDonald’s food but one with the brand name on the wrapped sheet and one without. The food without brand name lost every time in the study. This study showed how powerful the advertisement is to change a children mind. The repetition of advertisement heightens the children’s purchase request and put pressure on their parents. Marketers defense that advertisement is not the main factor for children to buy things. There may well be cases that some children buy things that they do not need, but this does not mean that all because of the...
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