Journal of Social and Political
ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)
ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)
Published: 19 November 2020
Examining the Ethics of Marketing to Children From a Kantian Perspective
T. Raja Reddy, E. Lokanadha Reddy, T. Narayana Reddy
Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Ananthapuramu (India), Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering & Technology (India)
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Keywords: Marketing to Children, Marketing Ethics, Kant, Goodwill, Duty, Freedom, Categorical Imperative
Marketers consider children’s segment as lucrative, for children tend to buy products for their own consumption, influence their family purchases, and are potential future customers. Blinded in the greed for profits, marketers recklessly and relentlessly bombard the children with their communications and promotions. Critics find fault with such self-centered and callous behaviour of marketers in targeting children, terming their actions unethical. However, marketers think otherwise. In this study, the rigorous framework provided by the 18th-century German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, is used to assess the ethical nature of marketing to children. The key Kantian ideas of ‘goodwill’, ‘duty’, ‘freedom’ and ‘categorical imperative’ are discussed in the context of marketing to children. From a Kantian perspective, marketing to children falls way short of being ethical.
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