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Advertising to children and social responsibility

By Chris Preston

Abstract

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: oai:eresearch.qmu.ac.uk:1377

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Citations

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