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Advertising to Kids: It’s a Slippery Slope.

Our phones, laptops and TVs can basically read our minds now. Technology has become so advanced that advertisers can pinpoint our likes and interests through our data. This allows advertisers to target specific individuals who may be interested in their products. But is advertising to kids OK?

Is it right to target children?

Children are very impressionable. They do not have the same rights and responsibilities as adults for a reason: They need time to learn right from wrong and what constitutes a good decision. When large companies target children, they target an audience that doesn’t know any better. These large companies are directly responsible for the content they put out, and that content should be genuine, not focused on getting into a child’s wallet. 

Does the responsibility fall on the parent?

That being said, parents need to parent. When you bring a child into this world, you are directly responsible for their well-being, which includes their education. As we progress into a more technologically advanced world, parents need to make sure their children are well-equipped to handle targeted advertisements and other things they might encounter on the internet. Before the days of Google and Facebook, there were things you weren’t allowed to do on TV commercials: no smoking, drinking, lewd images or cursing. There is an appropriate amount of censorship to remain decent, but any more than that, then we start to restrict creativity.

Where do you stand?

On either side of the issue, there is a line that should not be crossed. Companies and advertisers have no business reaching out to children directly. And children shouldn’t be able to access payment methods easily. No one should be taking advantage of children in any way. But there is a gray area of how much marketers can target them. Where do you land on this issue? Find out on this Millennial Minute segment.

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