Journal of Economics and Business

ISSN 2615-3726 (Online)

ISSN 2621-5667 (Print)

Published: 09 October 2020

Ethics of Marketing to Children: A Rawlsian Perspective

T. Raja Reddy, E. Lokanadha Reddy, T. Narayana Reddy

Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (India), Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering & Technology (India)

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10.31014/aior.1992.03.04.278

Pages: 1251-1258

Keywords: Marketing to Children, Marketing Ethics, John Rawls, Theory of Justice, Original Position, Veil of Ignorance

Abstract

Children constitute an important demographic for marketers. Driven by their insatiable hunger for profits, marketers are recklessly and relentlessly targeting the children with their actions and promotions. However, there are growing concerns and widespread criticisms associated with marketing to children. With the arguments for and against marketing to children polarized to extremes, the assessment of moral strengths of these arguments would be of great importance and consequence. John Rawls, in his monumental book, Theory of justice, has provided us with a framework for examining and adjudicating the rightness or wrongness of an action in a fair and unbiased way. In this study, an attempt is made to examine the ethics of marketing to children from a Rawlsian perspective. From Rawls ‘original position’, behind the ‘veil of ignorance’, many criticisms associated with marketing to children stand their ground, making it next to impossible to grant blanket approval for actions of marketers targeting children. The instances of the use of force, coercion, and deception by marketers violate the Rawlsian ideas of justice. Further, the actions of marketers also contradict the principles of justice derived from the original position. From a Rawlsian perspective, marketing to children is anything but just.

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