Explain how and when a consumer might be considered “vulnerable” to advertisers. Should the ethics of marketing to the vulnerable be considered in allowing advertisements? Why or why not?


Along with the problem of child labor, these companies may use very cheap materials in order to make their products. Cheap materials can cause many ethical dilemmas including containing things that are bad for the environment. Companies know that there are consumers who will buy a product as long as the pricing point is low enough. This can also involve food products, as many of the lowest products contain ingredients that may not be the best for the consumers, or electrical products that may not be the safest for the consumers. There have been many cases of cheap electronics that have ended up catching on fire, melting, and causing injury to the consumers. After many different occasions this has become a large enough concern to make the public aware of this, and create the question of whether or not consumers need to start spending extra money to avoid these situations.

Consumers can also become very vulnerable due to the advertising of different companies. In today’s world just like everything else, advertising is continuing to evolve as technology is continuing to improve. There are now many different programs that advertiser’s use that can help target the consumers who have previously search for certain products, or who may be interested in the products a company offers. With that being said, if somebody were to Google search for a product such as Air Jordan basketball shoes, they can continue to pop up in consumers browsing windows. Cookies make it possible for companies to use information that people search, and allows the products to be imbedded into the target customer’s internet pages.

This makes certain consumers vulnerable because they are continuously being targeted by advertisers. The more consumers see advertisements the more willing they will be to purchase the product, if they are able to. One day the consumer may not have enough money, but if these advertisements continue to pop up sooner or later the consumer could be hit at a more vulnerable time, and be convinced to buy the product. In addition to just advertising the actual product, companies now have access to the times when consumers are most likely to buy the product, the region, and the age and sex of the target consumers. This also can make consumers vulnerable by boosting advertisements at the times when most people buy the products. Also, if the company targets only the target consumers, they know they have a higher chance of making sales.

As in depth and personal as these advertisements can get I do not believe that there should be ethical considerations regarding advertisements and what should be allowed. I think that if companies have the ability to see things like who is most willing to buy their product at what time, they are utilizing their resources to the best of their ability. As long as no rights are being violated and there are no sketchy business practices being done behind closed doors this should be looked at as great business rather than unethical business.