Ethics and Morality in Advertising to Children Term Paper

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Ethics and Morality in Advertising to Children

The objective of this work is to research and examine the subject of advertising as related to advertising specifically to children in view of morality and ethics in advertising.

The advertising business in today's world is a monstrous industry that uses any and all tactics to gain the attention of the television viewer, radio listener, or the individual who views the billboards seeking to sell something whether it be a product, a service, or an idea. There is however, an issue of Ethics and Morality that must be addressed in relation to advertising that is specifically focused toward children.

SCHOOL BUS RADIO ADVERTISING

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In a September 17, 2006 USA Today article it is related that schools, in order to boost their tight budgets are "...hooking up with corporate sponsors" in an initiative that will have school buses in 11 states "...airing commercial radio with ads targeted at kids." (Koch, 2006) Although the article did not name the products that would be advertised it did say that 'Bus Radio' would advertise products such as "...entertainment, apparel, electronics, education and health." (Koch, 2006) Opponents of 'Bus Radio' state that: "This is a marketing ploy, aimed at 'sedating' kid...Advertisers love marketing in school, because children are a captive audience. This extends to the school bus. Kids are already bombarded with advertising..." which has been liked to "childhood obesity, underage drinking, violence, and other problems." (Koch, 2006) These ads are stated to be expected to reach 1 million children each year. (Koch, 2006; paraphrased)

II. PROTECTION of CHILDREN on the INTERNET

Term Paper on Ethics and Morality in Advertising to Children Assignment

An issue that has emerged in recent years is ethics and morality in relation to protection of children while they are online the World Wide Web. The work entitled: "Ethics and Governance of the Internet" states that the Guidelines of ICC on Advertising and Marketing on the Internet addresses problems of: "...legality, honesty, social responsibility, clear information to the users, use of personal data, right to access his/her own data, no unsolicited commercial message, special clauses for advertising to children, and respect for potential audiences: pornography, violence, racism, sexism,..." (Berleur, Duquenoy, and Whitehouse, 1999)

III. CALVIN KLEIN and PORNOGRAPHIC ADVERTISING

The work entitled: "Calvin Klein's Scandalous Advertising - Morality vs. Money" states that Calvin Klein launched what is referred to as the "controversial advertisement campaigns" between the late 1970s to 2003. The company was accused of "sexually exploiting children" in what was referred to as a "kiddie porn" campaign. The company has continued its focus on generation of sales through what are referred to as "erotic advertisements." (Center for Management Research, nd) in this article, it is stated that since the inception of "the global fashion industry..." [that industry] "...has been subject to moral and ethical controversies." (Center for Management Research, nd) This is stated to be because of "the diverse socio-cultural norms in different part of the world..." (Center for Management Research, nd) There have been times however, and Calvin Klein is called the "perfect example of one such advertisement campaign" (Center for Management Research, nd) that: "...even the most liberal fashion aficionado was shocked..." (Center for Management Research, nd) it is further related that parents throughout the United States objected including retail companies, specifically the Dayton Hudson Corporation, along with child welfare groups, most "...notably the American Family Association" and religious groups as well. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations is stated to have "...launched a probe against Calvin Klein in August 1995 to check whether the company had broken any laws." (Center for Management Research, nd) Calvin Klein representative denied having violated any laws and stated claims that every model in the campaign was over the age of 18. Over the years, the public outcry against such advertising have not daunted the company as the company has continually used erotica and nudity in its' advertising to cash in on the dollar.

IV. KELLOGG COMPANY SETS an EXCELLENT EXAMPLE

The work of Sam Ford entitled: "Are Trix for Kids? Will Other Cereal Brands Follow Kellogg's Lead?" states that the Kellogg Company announced that it would be "ending its marketing to children if cereals do not meet certain nutritional guidelines." (Ford, 2007) This is refreshing in today's world of marketing schemes and gimmicks targeted at children. Ford states that it has been reported that under the new guidelines the Kellogg Company states: "Food advertised on television radio, Web site and in print that have an audience that is 50% or more children under the age of 12 will have to meet the new nutrition standards. Kellogg Company already had a policy of not aiming advertising at children younger than 6, so the new guidelines apply to children 6 through 11." (Ford, 2007)

V. CREATING CRITICAL VIEWERS

The work of Dorothy and Jerome Singer entitled: "Creating Critical Viewers" states that on the average "adolescents spend almost 25 hours a week watching television. The time school-age children spend with television equals or exceed the time spent in school and doing homework. Television is now a common and constant learning environment." (Singer and Singer, nd) Despite this fact, it is only rarely that educators spend time teaching children how to disseminate that which is viewed on television and understand how advertising works and how it can ultimately influence their lives. The work "Creating Critical Viewers" is a partnership between schools and television professionals aimed at assisting young people in critically analyzing what they view on television. This is crucially important for the individual in disseminating information coming in from the world outside and this is especially true in the case of children. Unfortunately, the world is not governed by ethics and morality and such is the case as well for media marketing and advertising in today's world.

VI. CHILDREN and TELEVISION ADVERTISING (BJURSTROM, 1994-95)

The work of Erling Bjurstrom entitled: "Children and Television Advertising" reports the conduction of an international research study concerning the effects of television commercials on children. Bjurstrom states that according to cultural analyst Andrew Wernick (1991 p vii) today's advertising and marketing are a "...rhetorical form that permeates our entire culture." (Bjurstrom, 1994-95) Bjurstrom states that the: "Central message of advertising - which is always present whatever goods it is promoting - is to make us 'buy', ie consume." (1994-95) it is additionally related that research findings in a laboratory experiment involving children between four- and seven-years-of-age: "...literally believe what advertisements about products." (Bjurstrom, 1994-95) in this particular experiment, the children were shown a Cocoa Pebbles cereal commercial "in which the cartoon figures Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble" stated that the cereal 'tastes chocolately enough to make your smile.' When the children provided an explanation as to why they would want to eat Cocoa Pebbles cereal "...three-fifths said it was because it would make them smile, and more than half because Fred and Barney liked them." (Lowery & DeFleur, 1988. p. 411 as cited in Bjurstrom, 1994-95)

SUMMARY and CONCLUSION

Clearly, children are greatly influenced by advertising but, of course, they are supposed to be are they not? For this very reason it is clearly important that not only the television shows and sitcoms be monitored by parents and caregivers, it is just as clear that advertisers who care about ethics and morality in their marketing and advertising schemes do as the Kellogg Company, and refuse to participate in or promote advertising that could negatively affect young children. It is the belief of many that television advertising has promoted obesity in children and this concept does seem to have substance. Marketing and advertising of products is necessary however violation of ethics and morality in doing so is not necessary and not appreciated by many consumers making it therefore an area that a smart advertising executive monitors carefully in the area of ethnic and morality.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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