Ads Aimed at Kids Are Unethical

Illustration by Amintta Ragavanis

Amintta Ragavanis

Illustration by Amintta Ragavanis

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Children are some of the most critical, judgmental, and persuasive people you will ever meet. Parents treat their kids like kings and queens and give them the world, but what most parents do not know is that these little kings and queens are also small businessmen and women. The reason for this is that advertisements aimed at kids are turning young children into businessmen and women for the companies that target them.

Kids rely on their parents for money, food, shelter, and all their other needs. Companies that make advertisements take advantage of kids and their control over their parents. When designing ads for kids, companies target their five senses, making it almost impossible for kids not to want the product. Companies aim for these young kids because it is more effective than targeting the parents. Parents comprehend the value of money, unlike children.

At such young ages, children’s brains aren’t fully developed. They cannot comprehend what “want and need” is; they only understand what “want” is. So, when kids see a product online or on television, they immediately think, “How can I get this?” The answer is their parents; parents are the ones kids will go to first. In their attempt to get the product, they will beg, cry, and scream at their parents for it until they finally give in. Some parents find it easier to give in than to say no. All parents want is to make their kids happy, which makes giving in the more compelling choice.

Companies spend around ‘$12 billion per year on advertising messages aimed at the youth market. Additionally, the average child watches more than 40,000 television commercials per year..,’”

— American Psychological Association

The American Psychological Association (apa.org) stated that kids under the age of eight tend to assume that all advertising is truthful and unbiased. Kids are very vulnerable to commercial persuasion. The American Psychological Association also stated that companies spend around “$12 billion per year on advertising messages aimed at the youth market. Additionally, the average child watches more than 40,000 television commercials per year..,” making kids an easy demographic to target.

Some countries have already gotten on board to ban advertisements aimed at kids. In the United Kingdom, Greece, Denmark, and Belgium, advertising to children is restricted. Also, advertisements aimed at children under twelve are limited in Norway and Quebec.

Advertisements aimed at kids take advantage of a kid’s mind. They use kids as salespeople, and it is not ethical. Kids should be allowed to be kids without companies breathing down their necks and using their innocent minds to sell their product.

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