Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Advertising to children and social responsibility

By Chris Preston


Discusses the ethics of marketing to children and the concept of social responsibility, in particular the question of what counts as responsible advertising in a society where consumption is essential to the capitalist system and children are socialised into consumers. Shows how advertising helps children learn the tools of social interaction and the social significance of brands. Asks whether advertising deceives children, reporting research that shows that eight-year-olds do not believe all advertising but nevertheless value some of the advertisements. Moves on to the pressure that advertisements may put on parents to supply children with the products advertised. Notes that over half the advertisements shown in children’s television are for food related products, and that advertisers are accused of promoting unhealthy food. Concludes with children as a macro audience, i.e. one to which advertising has not been explicitly targeted but which is recognised as an inevitable recipient of the message

OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1981). A Quantitative Study of Young Children’s Comprehension of TV Programmes and Commercials, In Esserman
  2. (1999). A Research Based Warning to Advertising Strategists, Conference Paper,
  3. (1996). Adam Smith into the Twenty-First Century, Cheltnam, Edward Elgar Publishing
  4. (1984). Children and Television, doi
  5. (1990). Children’s general, Product, and Brand Specific Attitudes Toward Television Commercials. Implications for Public Policy and Advertising Strategy,
  6. (1984). Children’s Recognition of Consumption Symbolism in Children’s Products, doi
  7. (1983). Family Interactions During Television Programmes, doi
  8. (2003). Report by University of Strathclyde for the Food Standards Agency: The Hastings Report John, DR,
  9. (2003). Special Report: Selling to and Profiting from Families Morales, E,
  10. (2003). The Consumers Association, doi
  11. (2003). The Harben Lecture. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.