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Children As Consumers:Discuss The Effects Of Television And Food Advertising On Children

1103 words - 5 pages

Introduction

In today's ever increasingly changing world, kids have also been victims to this change. Today’s kids are more self-reliant than ever before, with more disposable money in their pockets, which help satisfy their infinite needs. With even more exposure to the world, through increasing technological developments, they now have enough knowledge about the products and brands that are out there. No wonder they are now being considered as consumers, at least in a marketer’s standpoint, they have needs and enough money to satisfy them; also they are enough of them to market too, which itself makes it a profitable segment, hence an interesting target, for companies and marketers. In this paper we look further into why children are targeted by marketers, how are children being affected through advertising. Whether this is ethical and as to why is this issue a heating debate globally.

Marketers have exhibited keen interest in marketing to children over some decades as children not only are a primary market, but they also have a great influence on their family spending and most importantly are life long customers (Hastings et al, 2008). Children’s own spending power has drastically increased over the years. A child in 1987 on an average received 1.18 pound a week, and this contrasts with 6.84 pounds in 2009 (Prabhakar, 2009), but this is apart from the money earned from their part-time jobs. Children in US spend about $24 to $40 billion every year (McNeal, 2007). In the UK children account for about 4.9 billion pounds to the British economy (Prabhakar, 2009) each year. McNeal and Zhang (2000) estimated that only one fourth of children living in cities, in china, alone spend over $6billion of their own money. However, this is just the money spend directly by them, children also have a huge influence on their family spending, from buying pattern of their families to vacations they take. US children influenced about $260 to $700 billion (McNeal, 2007) on family spending every year. Children in UK influence 30 billion pounds each year (Fielder et al, 2007). Parker (2001) pointed out that UK parents spend, on average 7 pounds more when supermarket shopping with children than without them (Shodhganga, 2013). Apart from being a primary market and great influencers, children most importantly are seen as life long customer by marketers. Childhood is just the beginning of one's life, and marketers recognize that and from a very small age try to attract children through advertising and want them to become a part of their brand. Hence persuading them to continuing buying the same brand, as they grow older, viewing long-term profits and a loyal customer for the company rather than just for a period of time. Research shows that when companies are promoting brand-oriented messages to children, kids make very long-lasting and deeply held emotional connections to the brand,” says Andrew Cheyne (Sifferlin, 2013). From these figures we can understand why...

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