Are Children Acceptable as a Target Audience?
Today we can often hear about the immorality of commercial companies that treat children as the target audience of their products. They don’t have right to lure poor little children into… what? Buying something? Spending their money? Wasting their time?
To begin with, the definition “poor little children” is wrong inherently. I don’t know where its authors have seen these poor little ones, but I didn’t; according to my own observations, children don’t know either and use this lenient attitude of grown-ups skillfully and whenever it is possible.
Second, children naturally don’t have what is called “their money”. Most often children (at least of the age that is supposed to be associated with “poor little” category) receive money from their parents, and thus we stand before a dilemma: does it all mean that companies shouldn’t market to them because this is not really their money and they have no right to decide where to spend it or what? If it is so, why bother about giving money to children at all and not by everything you, as a parent, want the child to have? If it does not mean this, why going mad about the child’s spending what is now his money on what he wants? And if the child earned the money himself, what right do parents have in determining how he can use it?
If we guard the child from decision making, even so petty, at this stage, we make him less likely to learn how to make decisions later. Why do we consider it alright to give him money, but feel indignation when somebody tries to sell him something? When the child is given something, he is supposed to be treated like a grown-up person in this respect – why don’t we like him to prepare to be a grown-up?