In also evident as Hughes describes tactics
In Eric Schlosser’s article, Kid Kustomers, he demonstrates how child advertising has developed by the tactics marketers use to get children to want and demand certain companies’ products. The big boom in child advertisement began in the 1980’s. Working class parents had to spend more time at work, so this meant less time at home with their children.
They made up for for the loss of family time by spending more money on their children. According to Schlosser, many industries started to pick up on parents’ excessive money spending on their kids, so they decided to focus more of their advertising on children.Findings such as the above mentioned can be supported just by reading through endless numbers of marketing journals and articles that are dedicated to focusing advertising towards children. The most compelling and concise evidence demonstrating the depths advertisers will go to market to children appears in “The Corporation”, a 2004 documentary by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbot. The film explores the world of big business through interviews with many corporate insiders, including VP of Initiative Media Worldwide; Lucy Hughes.
Initiative Media Worldwide is a marketing firm who’s clients include some of the biggest corporations in the world. In addition to being the VP of the aforementioned company, Hughes is also the creator of The Nag Factor, a study conducted in 1998 to help corporations get children to nag for their products more effectively. The Nag Factor study found that between twenty and forty percent of the time a purchase would not have occurred if the child didn’t nag. In her interview, Hughes goes on to explain,” They (children) are tomorrow’s consumers.Start talking to them now and you’ll have them as adults. ” The importance of children as targets of marketing is also evident as Hughes describes tactics including the use of child psychologists,” The more insight you have about the consumer the more creative you’ll be in your communication strategies, so if it takes a psychologist then I want one on staff.
” It can be argued that this is just one marketing agency, but it is important to note that Initiative Media Worldwide spent over twelve billion dollars on media time in 2004.Examples like the ones above are evidence that clearly support Schlosser’s findings. More and more marketing is being directed towards the youth. Big business is spending incredibly large amounts of money on trying to make children buy their products at as young an age as possible. It is important to remember that children are not adult consumers. They are still in the developmental stage, leaving themselves vulnerable to suggestion and impression.Marketing agencies take direct advantage of this, advertising directing toward children’s developmental vulnerabilities.
It is quite obvious that big business is interested in selling their products no matter how it is done. In one more quote by Linda Hughes, the ethical stance on marketing to children is spelled out quite clearly. “Is it ethical? I don’t know. But our role at Initiative is to move products.
And if we know you move products with a certain creative execution placed in a certain type of media vehicle then we’ve done our job. ”