Thursday, 20 September 2007

Starbucks one of many companies marketing to your kids

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I remember taking a class in university where we discussed the history of marketing products to children. Giants like Disney and McDonald's got in the business early, convincing kids that their toys and burgers were must-haves. Since the start, many other companies have gotten on board, realizing the money-making potential that lies in advertising products to easily-influenced and hard-to-ignore (by weary parents anyway) kids.

Is it ethical? I suppose it depends on your personal point of view. At the very least I can understand why a company like Disney, whose brand focuses on kid-friendly products, would market to children. I'm not so sure what to think though when a company like Starbucks admits that kids and teens are a part of their client base.

As Heather Craven at ParentDish points out, most Starbucks beverages are chock full of sugar and caffeine, neither of which need to be ingested by kids on a regular basis. It may be hard to refuse your children when they're begging for a giant-sized white chocolate beverage, but Craven pledges to save her money and deny her children.

What would you do? Do you thi it's unethical of Starbucks to market caffeine-filled drinks to kids?

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