The Ethics Behind Advertising To Children

The Ethics Behind Advertising To Children

Advertising isn’t the issue, rather the sort of advertisements that children see is the real concern.
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The topic of advertising to children is one that has been under great debate for many years. Children are very impressionable by nature and today, they are constantly being bombarded with commercials and ad campaigns designed to seize their attention and curb their interests. For those in the advertising industry, it is very good thing to have an audience that can be so easily persuaded to want their products. On the other hand, this can have negative physical and mental effects on the kids who are observing all of these product promotions.


Misleading messages sent out to children by large media companies often go unnoticed by parents considering many of these kids now have their own cellphones and computers that are commonly used without any form of supervision. Additionally, a large number of children today receive allowances which they are able to spend freely without having to consult with their parents, so the likelihood of a child falling prey to untruthful advertising is far greater than it used to be. Not only do children have control over their personal funds, they also have considerable influence on the flow of their parents’ spending because these kids put pressure on them to purchase the promoted products.

Another cause for concern is deceptive phone applications directed at children which are shown to be free, but have hidden fees within the app. In these instances, the initial download of the game application has no cost. However, when children are playing the game, there will be fees to gain other features or different levels. Kids who may be too naïve or not well-versed in how things are marketed can end up racking up quite large charges on their parents’ phone bill without them knowing until months down the road.


The advertising industry has made efforts to promote positive ideas to children such as diet and exercise. Through self-regulation, advertising agencies have shown movement in a better direction than before, but there is still a huge amount of money being thrown into this industry. While advertisers claim that current guidelines are providing adequate restrictions on advertising to children, it is interesting to see that around $17 billion dollars is used annually on promotions to children. This is an astronomical increase from the mere $100 million used in 1983.

While marketing to children is still an issue that needs to be addressed and monitored, there have been some progressive movements in the past to minimize some of the harm that comes with advertisement. Through legislative changes and verdicts reached by past cases related to children’s ads, the days of flashy, over-the-top, persuasive commercials and games is very slowly changing to reflect a more appropriate method of marketing.


Children learn things rapidly and in a world where media consumption is at an all-time high, there have never been more sources for children to learn from than ever before. Television and the Internet specifically are the greatest media transmitters of information, both of which occupy much of a child's time. It is important to recognize these facts because children's minds are extremely malleable—they are very receptive to new information. This is why there have been laws made to inhibit and prohibit advertising to children. A great deal of unfortunate behaviors and habits can be observed very quickly by just scrolling through a website or watching the commercials on a television during one's favorite program. Advertising as a whole has been under attack “because it is perceived as making kids want what they don't need and puts pressure on parents to respond to those needs." The question remains: is it ethical for corporations to directly market to children? In actuality, advertising isn’t the issue, rather the sort of advertisements that children see is the real concern. This ideology has led to rules issued by both the Federal Trade Commission and the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. These rules focus mainly on being sure that advertisements are clearly separated from the program content and that the words and pictures in the advertisements do not mislead children who have limited cognitive skills, as their brains are still developing.

Although children are developing their own purchasing power and influencing that of their parents, they must still be advertised ethically and fairly. Product claims must be specific and factual, especially when it comes to a consumer’s health. It is important to promote healthy alternatives to children to instill good habits at a young age.

As children continue to be exposed to more advertisements on a daily basis, advertisers must be more careful when creating ads that appeal to them. If advertisers continue to make unethical decisions, there will undoubtedly be more cases in which the FCC, FTC and FDA must combat them.


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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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