Marketing – Should Companies Market to Children

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About this sample


Words: 535 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jan 31, 2024

Words: 535|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jan 31, 2024

The debate of whether marketing to children should be allowed focuses on two opposing sides: the side that believe that marketing to children is unethical and the side that believes that it is “just business'. This essay aims to explain why marketing to children is unethical and should not be allowed.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

A major reason why marketing to children is unethical is because of children’s increased susceptibility to manipulation due to their inability to think critically. According to an article from this creates the problem of children being unable to understand the hidden messages used by advertisers in order to reel in customers to purchase their product. This linked with a child’s lack of responsibility creates the problem of it being more likely that the child will make decisions about the product being advertised impulsively. Because the child does not understand the negative effects, they might pressure their parents to purchase the product, allowing for little protest from the parent. This creates a problem for the parent because they will often end up buying the product even it is unnecessary and a waste of money.

However, according to The Guardian people who support marketing to children feel that marketing to children promotes critical thinking in children. These people believe that parents could help their children identify when a product is useless and therefore a waste of money using these advertisements. This however would not work because most parents have no interest in teaching their five-year old who wants a new kitchen set how to think critically because the child is too young. These people also make the argument that the marketing is essential because marketing as a whole is a tool that is used to advertise products and inform potential customers about he product. Unfortunately, these business operate in children-focused industries like the toy industry and so the automatic target for their marketing is children.

However, the issue with the marketing in that industry begins when these companies work with other businesses outside of children-focused industries to target children. An example of this is McDonald’s and the ‘Happy Meal' that they offer for children. McDonald’s, a company in the fast food industry, works with companies in the toy industry to offer toys with their ‘Happy Meal' in order to get the children to purchase the meal. This adds on to the growing health concern for children because more and more children are becoming overweight and obese because of these fast foods. This type of marketing does not consider the children and their needs but instead focuses on the best way to make a profit — by ignoring said needs of their biggest demographic.

Marketing to children should not be allowed because it is an unethical practice used to manipulate children into buying into ploys set up by companies to get them to purchase their products. The practice takes advantage of the immaturity of children and the eagerness of parents to please their children while also ignoring the needs of children and prioritising profit, even if it affects their health negatively.

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  1. (2019). Ethical Issues in Marketing to Children – CourseBB
  2. Watson, B. (2017). The tricky business of advertising to children. [online] the Guardian.
  3. (2014). Is Kid-Targeted Marketing Unethical? [online] CRM Magazine.  
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This essay was reviewed by
Prof. Linda Burke

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Marketing – Should Companies Market to Children. (2024, January 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 17, 2024, from
“Marketing – Should Companies Market to Children.” GradesFixer, 31 Jan. 2024,
Marketing – Should Companies Market to Children. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Apr. 2024].
Marketing – Should Companies Market to Children [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jan 31 [cited 2024 Apr 17]. Available from:
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