Youth marketing to children

We covered marketing to children through emerging media, and it’s definitely a topic that generates controversy. Having a two month old son has certainly changed my perspective on this topic, because before I really didn’t see the harm in marketing products that I considered to be benign (like cereals, or toys) to children. After all, business is business and companies depend on sales to survive. But now I see it a little differently. Companies have the power to do such enormous good through marketing, if they are in a business that does help children as well as produce enough profits that it can survive.

That’s why I chose Lego as an ideal company that does both. Surf, and you’ll see what I mean. There’s so much fun content there for children–and it also stimulates their creativity. What’s the harm in that? Nothing, in mu view, except the broader picture of what marketing to children in a capitalistic society brings: children that have a desire for products. This topic was very well covered in an article through Newsvine: Child psychologists fear that marketing to children produces children that have a growing, insatiable desire for consumer goods. This is certainly a valid concern–but isn’t it a byproduct of capitalism? Adults have an insatiable desire for consumer goods. It’s the society that we’ve created, and we need to live with the consequences.

What does that mean for marketers and the boundaries when it comes to children? Where is the real boundary?

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