The film Consuming Kids contains some invaluable material not only for parents but also for healthcare professionals and any individual involved in fostering the well being of children. This film is an eye opener sparking discussion in areas of sociology, psychology, health, and media studies. It is clear that, advertising and marketing has intruded children’s lives creating a variety of ills ranging from obesity, excessive materialism, violence, and matters of sexuality. According to Gamble, Marketers find children as important demographic for they have a lot of influence on the buying decisions of their parents and the same time they have purchasing power (262).
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This paper will focus its attention on marketing and how it affects children and how individual’s Values and Life Styles aid in marketing and advertising.
Today, marketers have increasingly targeted children because of their power to influence the buying patterns of their parents and the income at their disposal. In addition, the modern interactive technology has created new routes where the children market can be reached well. The advertisements carried on TV today feature food products that are high in sugar and fat and at actually have very low nutritional value.
Apart from junk food, marketers are promoting violent video games, unnecessary huge toys, beauty products, and even social networks such as Facebook. Padded bikinis, cigarettes, guns, and beer are some products targeted at kids today. A good example is the Britain retailer who introduced “padded bikinis” for girls as young as seven years old (Gamble 265). Fast food outlets like McDonalds package their products with materials dominated by toys and cartoons to attract the children market. All these have negative effects to children including obesity, violence, materialism, materialism, and hyper sexuality.
Today, airlines and hotels have increasingly targeted kids for they possess the nag or pestering factor. This simply means that they can pester and influence their parents to go on holidays; they will use airlines and they will be booked to stay in hotels. It is a problem and a crime for marketers to turn children’s sandbox into shopping malls thus restrictions should be put on advertisements aimed at children.
Gamble, Margaret. “A quarter century of TV food advertising targeted at children.” American Journal of Health Behavior 23. 4 (2009): 261-267. Print.