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Marketing to children is a contentious topic whose basis is based on a shaky hypothetical interpretation since those concerned often violate both the legal and ethical standards of justification. The normative philosophy of virtue ethics is founded on the understanding that an act or action (in this case, selling to children) is either evil or positive, right or wrong, based on whether it runs counter to what is considered as socially and culturally good or wrong in the respective cultures. Indeed, if the marketing process thrives on reason and justice, then there is no point of order, however, this is never the case on most occasions, as the buyers are targeted based on their extreme positions in the social hierarchy, categorically the elderly whose decision making is never independently rational and the children, whose autonomy is at best compromised. Therefore, marketing to the vulnerable populations as such is expressly in controversy with the ethical theory of virtue ethics (\u0160ramov\u00e1 1523).
On the other hand, it has become a common practice not only in the twenty-first century wherein globalisation has peaked on an escalating an unprecedented spree, but also in the decades before, that political institutions utilize their influential positions to derive pyramid schemes to lure the young people into seemingly lucrative businesses, which unfortunately wither in returns after a short while (\u0160ramov\u00e1 1526). Indeed, perhaps one should consider the ethical theory of care ethics, whereby it is vital that doing business and set individual goals to amass profits should consider the wellbeing of all the parties involved. The otherwise malicious and egoistic schemes that exploit the vulnerable and reward those at the apex of influence is both morally and legally unbecoming. For instance, schemes like Amway are pyramid frameworks from the word go, a volatile position that targets the vulnerable on the grounds of business and exploits them in the end.
Indeed, children are the most vulnerable members of the society when it comes to the business world, yet they are the generation that will take care of the near future as overall decision makers in their respective communities. The Code of Practices for Television Broadcasters was incepted in the early 1950s to protect children against misleading and irrational TV programs. However, the stance would be weakened later in 1983 following the free market hypothesis advocacies (\u0160ramov\u00e1 1523). The Star Wars films realized that their potential consumer market lay among the minors, and that is why in the 1970s the organization strived to secure their massive profits, without cautiously weighing the harm this business would yield. The Lion King under Disney peaked in the mid-1980s, and this would later be complemented by the internet inception into the corporate world in the late 1990s. Children could access the internet independently and come in direct conduct with the marketers. On the other hand, proponents of coercing children into consuming their goods and services argued that parents were free to contain their children against such platforms. Nevertheless, the ethical theory of deontology does not justify this position, because by selling to children and influencing their immature conscience is expressly unethical, and then the premise after that such decisions are founded irrational. Marketers in the early 1990s employed high-tech psychological games, as they appealed to the children market through color and shape, attraction and luring, hence setting up children against the conventional moral standards of their parents.
Experts in the discipline of psychology have linked excessive child related consumerism in with adverse health outcomes. For instance, diabetes type II, mental dispersion, stress disorders as well as anxiety and hypertensive attention deficit disorder are conditions which have been directly linked to an obsession with consumerism behavior. Nevertheless, it is an unfortunate experience that the marketer in the US overtook the American society decades before the government realized. The hype of the No Child Left Behind id founded on rational values for the benefit of children, however, its objectives are long overdue since the hoped for goal realization. This is because most marketers own private schools, and hence they have direct and autonomous access to scores of children to influence regarding business and consumerism. Perhaps a good example would be the McDonald`s a very prominent entity that is involved in academic matters across the country. Macdonald's sells toys and junk food, with high sugar, fat, and salt, elements that predispose children to a spree of lifestyle conditions, like obesity and diabetes. As such, the ethical theory of utilitarianism insists on the need for monitoring the happiness and less harm the outcomes of specific decisions attract, and on this platform, the marketing systems have by far gone against the grain to expose the vulnerable to physiological, anatomical, mental, and ethical distortion.
Šramová, Blandína. “Marketing and Media Communications Targeted to Children as Consumers.” Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 191, 2015, PP. 1522–1527.
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