Targeted marketing for children - Right or Wrong?

We see it everywhere we go and many of us don’t give it a second thought. There are television and magazine ads directed at children, social media content that is focused on young people, we even see it in the checkout lanes at our local grocery store and the problem is getting worse. What used to be sweets at the checkout has now turned into a full-fledged buffet of sugary snacks, toys and useless products that are making our children believe that they can’t live without them.

This is called targeted marketing for children and it is a common practice in many countries around the world and is highly unregulated by governments and the ad agencies themselves. If it sells more products, why change it?

The idea of targeted marketing for any age group is an effective method of selling more products by placing the products or ads where your specific audience will see them. In many cases, it can be very effective at creating sales and it is this success that makes targeted advertising so commonplace throughout the industry.

Marketing Standards for Children’s Advertising Needed

But is it fair to target a marketing campaign to children and young adults? After all, these are two very enthusiastic age groups that can be easily persuaded to believe in, or purchase, almost anything. There has been a lot of talk lately in the news about targeting children in advertising and the industry seems to be divided on the subject. But with gaming having an effect on the health of young minds, underage social media usage and some items that have been considered adult oriented in the past being marketed to young people, many of these advertising agencies should take the moral high ground and help to create a set of industry standards that precludes the targeting of young people.

There are digital marketing agencies that are pioneering the cause and making the changes themselves within their own advertising campaigns. Parallel Creative provides a wide range of professional web design, branding and digital marketing services that help level the playing field and avoid the over-targeting of children in their ads. While some marketing is designed to be child-friendly, marketers should take a look at the content they are producing and imagine if it was one of their own children looking at that ad before running the campaign.

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