Commercial Exploitation – Children And Vulnerable Entities.

The development in the technological factors revolutionized the entire world. The communication has become significantly advanced, people are now aware of many disciplines, hence the distances have reduced and now things are in hand. This has provided greater the business entities with greater opportunities as they are now close to their targeted consumers.  Through different mediums it is easy to convey the message, and now new mediums are also evolved like the social media networking, and different mediums have altered their reach as well.

In the similar context the aggressive marketing activities are also conducted to meet the marketing needs that are to attract consumers or to create awareness. To serve the purpose, organizations are found to engage in several advertisement activities in which the commercials are the most important one. The development in the field of satellite has resulted in many channels and mediums on which the commercials are run. This discussion is based upon the fact that how mass media culture has resulted in commercial exploitation. This research report presents the argument that is in favor of the topic. The increase in the mass media and its culture has resulted in more exploitation from commercials.  In the discussion the theoretical framework is also provided.

Commercial Exploitation:

As the development in the technological factors have enabled many channels to get introduced that can viewed across the globe. Through this different factors have been generated. The flow of information has become very intense and sometimes the entire phenomenon tends to generate negative factors as well. The commercial that are run over the television or at any medium tends to “exploit the different entities” (Cronk, 1996). As it can be observed from the case of McDonalds, the company famous and world’s largest fast food chain has being sued and has also threaten to be sued as it continues to target children as its main target market. As a result children are observed to literally drag their parents in order to have the food from McDonalds. On the other hand it can also be observed that the main target market for McDonalds is children, and “therefore most of the commercials are based on the elements that attract children” (Rooney, 2010). Consequently the children are exploited through the commercial that is run through the mass media. Moreover it is also observed that children across the western countries are also found to suffer from obesity since fast food contains unhealthy ingredients. Hence it can be observed that where the mass media has enabled the “commercial to have greater reach and target consumers, it has started commercial exploitation also” (Ceulemans, Faucoonier, 2007).

Moreover the commercial exploitation is not only referred to as to attract consumers to buy the product, but it also includes the activities which is dangerous, “harmful to children or any target market physically, psychological or by emotional” (Ceulemans, Faucoonier, 2007). Such activities tend to ruin the education, work ability of consumers, especially children. On the other hand such elements when tend to contribute positively over the mentioned factors, than it is said to be positive commercial influence. But since the mass media has also evolved and it has become a significant platform for business entities to run their commercial it has started affective negatively to the target market. “In addition as it is also mentioned that a channel which is broadcasted in US but can be viewed in Pakistan, this will also increase the commercial exploitation” (Thomas, Carpenter, 2001).

The above concept can be easily understood in a case that, a commercial that is being developed in accordance with the specific culture and embedded with values is viewed in another and totally different culture, then the chance of culture disruption increases. For example a commercial that is made for AXE Deodorant that is made for western culture if viewed in Pakistan, it will result in exploitation of consumers’ mind and perception. The commercials that pose nudity cannot be run in Pakistan, but since these commercials are viewed in Pakistan also, therefore cultural disruptions and commercial exploitation of consumers’ values can be observed. “Moreover, commercials of these natures, regardless where they are played, but when viewed by children, then it can also become the case of children sexual exploitation. The most critical factor is the fact that these elements cannot be controlled. A family watching a family movie, and suddenly a commercial will appear that would not be suitable for children.  This leaves a negative impact over the children’s mind and a case of exploitation can be observed” (Thomas, Carpenter, 2001).

Moreover there are some products as well which are commercialized through mass media as well. Some products that can be harmful to health like cigarettes and alcohol are also marketed and commercialized from the similar sources. More often children are the core victim for these natures of commercials. “The main reason behind this is the fact that children are more vulnerable to these kinds of activities, they tend to adopt what they perceive and tend to become the part of it also” (Rooney, 2010). Like McDonalds target children through offering them free gifts with meal.  In this case the children are victim of commercial exploitation that is being done through mass media. On the other hand the increase in the mass media has also increased the commercial exploitation. From the business perspective, many scholars argue that it is the right of business to target any specific market and take measures to make it sure that the business is profitable through “the commercializing it. but yet again there is concept of corporate social responsibility, in which the business are require to return back to the society as a compliment for getting so much from it. But now days, fewer organizations are found to participate in this context (Thomas, Carpenter, 2001). This is mainly because they do not realize the exploitation that they are doing through commercializing the different products” (Ceulemans, Faucoonier, 2007).

In the similar manner, there are many products that are not accepted publically but still are commercialized. These products include condoms, or female sanitary napkins. In some culture, promoting and creating public awareness regarding these products might be acceptable, but may become commercial exploitation in some cases as well. “But since TV channels are viewed across the globe, therefore the reach of such commercial extends from its actual reach. As mentioned, children are the most affected entity in this regard as they have more tendencies to adopt whatever they see and perceive” (Rooney, 2010).

“Imagine a child viewing a commercial of condom, or a commercial that is based on partial nudity or sexual content, it will directly hurt the consumer’s mind greater disruption could be created” (Thomas, Carpenter, 2001). Moreover the mass media has also resulted in different channels for children that are totally feasible for children. But it can be observed that those channels, instead of developing the abilities, these are resulting in negative features for children. Like the famous TV Channel Cartoon Network, it tends to run cartoons 24/7 which attracts children, “their working habit, they tendency to study and more. In the similar manner different products are also commercialized on such TV Channels, hence the specifically for children. This increases the exploitation level amongst children” (Rooney, 2010).

“But children and other affected entities can prevent themselves to view such kind of material that could exploit them. But what about the different mediums that are included in Mass Media; like billboards, print media and others. Assume a child views a billboard that is very attractive and it tends to promote alcohol, definitely the child will be abused mentally as he will gain attraction towards the product” (Rooney, 2010).

Conclusion:

From the above discussion it is very apparent that mass media has contributed a lot towards the increase of commercial exploitation for adults as well as for children. The above report presents the discussion upon the relevant topic and tends to provide different examples to support the idea. The main exploitation can be observed from the case of McDonalds, that it has being sued several times and is threaten many times to sue as it keep promoting itself as children brand. As a result children are attracted towards McDonalds.

The factor of exploitation cannot be eliminated completely, but the affect can be reduced. For this aggressive control measures are to be taken and harmful and controversial products should be not promoted through different mediums. Moreover parents should also take care of children that what they see and what they perceive can hurt their mind.

References:

  1. Cronk R, 1996, consumerism and the new capitalism, accessed on January 21, 2012, available at: http://www.westland.net/venice/art/cronk/consumer.htm
  2. Ceulemans M, Faucoonier G, 2007, mass meida: the image, role and social conditions of women, accessed on January 21, 2012, available at: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0003/000370/037077eo.pdf
  3. Thomas E, Carpenter B, 2001, Mass media in 2025: industries, organizations, people and nations, Greenwood publishing Group, US
  4. Rooney B, 2010, McDonald’s warned: drop the toys or get sued, accessed on January 21, 2012, available at: http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/22/news/companies/CSPI_sues_McDonalds/index.htm

Ahsan Zaheer

Trying to be human.

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