For what reason do you think promoting focused on kids is so awful?
I will be following a philosophical approach while answering this question.
A coin has two sides. Something that looks bad to a person or group does not apply for all. Any product that needs advertisement targets its potential customer. Logically, a child who does not earn money will rush to his/her parents to buy something. It’s a mind game that many advertisers play.
Let’s visualize a scene: There is a candy brand offering a free surprise toy in its packet. A child comes to know about this from a friend in school. On the way back home from school, the child’s mother gets him other candy of different brands from a store, cheaper than one with the gift. But the child wants the one he comes to know from friend at school. Mother gets him a cheaper one. What will be the child’s reaction? The child will cry for a while. By the time they will reach home, the child might forget about it. (Some kids are stubborn). In the evening, while watching TV with parents, the same ad flashes and then……
Now let’s apply this to more serious examples, Cigarette ads using fruity, kid-friendly flavors, or video games that seem like they are for, children only to later include gambling-like monetization schemes. Stuff like that allows the child to unknowingly worsen their health or rack up credit card debt for their parents. Kids should only spend money on something they know is safe and that their parents approve of, and unethical advertising may try to swoop past the parent awareness stage and gets kids spending money independently.
Advertisements targeting children can be bad for some people due to the following reasons:
1) Children are not fully developed mentally, and therefore are more easily influenced to do something harmful
2) It picks the pocket of parents, ultimately
3) The product itself may not be healthy or appropriate for children.
There can be many more reasons. We can refer to online survey reports depicting this. Contrary to this, it is nothing but cream for unethical advertisers and sellers.
Of course, we need to look up alternatives. We cannot stop advertising. The key, I feel, is to make sure that ads are not designed to deceive children or influence their behavior, and to rely on parents as a gatekeeper. This is why many commercials for kids’ websites say “Ask your parents before going online.”
Off the beat: conversations like this are important because it’s easy to go too far the other way and condemn advertising in general. But just imagine how the world would be without advertising. As a digital marketing expert, I have recently published an article, Welcome to a World Without Advertising, on Medium addressing the common attitude that advertising and marketing are inherently scummy, deceptive, harmful, etc. It can be beneficial for consumers, not just sellers or advertisers.
Anyways, such discussions should come up frequently. I appreciate your concern.