Public Criticism of Marketing
Marketing is an act of attracting the consumers to buy a product or service by different companies. Marketers may not always be within the boundaries of ethical standards when they are desperately trying to sell a product or service. There are many attempts by the marketers that can be criticized due to the content of the advertisement that are presented to the consumer market. For this paper I have chosen the issue of ethical violations in advertising to children.
Marketing Ethics in targeting children
Parents spend a lot of their financial resources for the comfort and happiness of their children. This encourages the marketers to target children more as they might have an overwhelming influence on their parents purchasing behaviors. There are many products that marketers want to bring in the attention of children. For example they might be presenting toys to them. Sometimes the toys are marketed with unrealistic qualities (Babin & Harris). The marketers might say that these toys are proved by research to provide some kind of learning experience which may not be right. Parents would spend money on such toys thinking they made the right decision while in fact it was just a waste of time.
There are many issues that are of great concern when marketing to children. For Example O’Brien (2011) suggested that there are companies who advertise junk food to children without any care for what would be the health repracautions. In my opinion businesse must include specifications of the amount of energy and different other organic and inorganic ingredients present in their food products.
We understand that children are vulnerable and need specific care when exposed to leaning. Media is a source of learning. When the media starts to consider children as only consumers and nothing else, the marketers start to take advantage of it and develop advertisement that are focused on maximizing the profit without a consideration of its short and long term cast for the children psychological and physical health. This is the case when companies start to do negative marketing to children. Companies show only the positive side of their products to children and do not let them know what could be the side effects of these products. I believe that it is the responsibility of these companies to tell their consumers and especially children what the negative consequences of the products may be.
Companies should be able to accept their responsibility when they are marketing to children. They should not play with the emotions and health of these children. In order to remain within marketing ethics, companies must work on their products first so that these products are not harmful in the first place. Then there would be no need to use unethical marketing stunts to promote their products.
Babin, B. & Harris, E. CB7, 7th Edition
O’Brien, G. (2011). Marketing to Children: Accepting Responsibility. Business Ethics.