Essay: Employing children

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SUMMERY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS
As an aid to the reader, this final chapter of the thesis restates the research problem and reviews the major methods used in the study. It further summarises the results, put forward conclusions, admit the limitations and give the implications and recommendations based on the results.
Promotion is an important element any marketing plan. The reasons or factors responsible for success or failure of any promotion are not clearly known to the interested groups. This opens up a series of questions to be answered academically. In the present study, some questions were raised relating to the ethical issues in use of children in marketing promotion. Does it lead to benefits or loss. How does consumer behave when exposed to promotion using children.
By this study, the researcher wanted to resolve a query regarding the ethical aspects in use of children in marketing promotion.
In this connection, the following objectives and hypotheses were framed for the study, based on the insights and the literature review.
OBJECTIVES
4.12 The objectives of study
‘ To study whether the trend of employing children in marketing is ethical or not?
‘ Study the theoretical aspects of ethics and promotions
4.13 hypotheses for the study
In the background of the objectives of the study, the following hypotheses were identified:
‘ H1 The benefit are more than the cost of using children in marketing promotion
‘ H2 There is difference in responses based on gender on use of children in marketing promotion
‘ H3 There is difference in responses based on age of the respondent on use of children in marketing promotion
‘ H4 There is difference in responses based on occupation on use of children in marketing promotion
METHODOLOGY
As explained in Chapter 3, the study reported here represents a quantitative perspective and the type of research was designated as diagnostic research. The research method used to collect data was Sample Survey method. The study was designed to explore the ethical issues in use of children in marketing promotion.
The independent variables in this study were gender, age and occupation. The broad area of the study covered were,
1. Benefits of using children in marketing promotion.
2. Cost of using children in marketing promotion
3. Behaviour of consumer when exposed to promotion using children
Sample
Samples for the study was taken from 6 divisional headquarter towns of Maharashtra state. The sample size was determined as 548 valid responses and non-probability sampling technique of heterogeneous sampling type was used resorted to as the sampling procedure.
Research Instruments
The research instruments included questionnaires for data collection.
Procedure
A pilot study was conducted to define the benefit and cost aspects to be studied. Forty seven (47) question statements grouped in to 12 areas were defined in to the questionnaire.
The benefits of use of children marketing promotions
3. Benefits ‘ (14 statements)
4. Information content (5 statements)
5. Economic benefits to children (5 statements)
6. Social benefits (4 statements)
Feedback of benefits and cost was taken from respondents on the perspective of individual consumer and Society. The feedback was taken in a structured questionnaire.
Cost of using children in marketing promotion
Cost ‘ (22 statements)
1. Loss to the children (3 statements)
2. Abuse of children (3 statements)
3. Falsity in marketing promotion (4 statements)
4. Advertising creating affluence attitude in the society (4 statements)
5. Advertising leading to Cultural degradation of society (4 statements)
6. Exploitation of consumer psychology by using children (4 statements)
Behavioural responses as an indicator
1. Behaviour of consumer during advertising using children
Suggestions
1. Views on present regulation
2. Suggestions for regulation
Statistical Analysis
The data analysis was carried on using several strategies. The reduced and processed data were reported in the form of percentages and mean values. As the data analysis procedure, both parametric and non-parametric tests of statistical significance like Student’s T test and ANOVA (one tail), LSD post hoc test were used, with the support of SPSS computerised package.
A summary of the research methods used in the study is given in Table 6.1.
Study of Ethical issues in use of children for marketing promotion
Dependent variable Benefits and cost of use of children in marketing promotion
Testing Independent variable Gender, Age, Occupation
Place of study 6 divisional headquarter town of Maharashtra state
Amravati, Aurangabad, Mumbai, Nagpur, Nashik, Pune
Participants Individual respondents
Source of information
Type of research Exploratory
Methods of data collection Questionnaire
Sample size 548
FINDINGS
Objective 1: To study whether the trend of employing kids in marketing is ethical or not
The objective was studies from theoretical perspective in chapter one of introduction and chapter three of literature review.
The different ethical studies and have pointed to the aspect that humans should not be used as an object to achieve means. In context of this study children should not be used in marketing promotion for achieving marketing objectives.
The objective was further analysed based on the data of responses received in the Hypothesis H3.
The hypothesis statement being,
H3o The benefit are more than the cost of using children in marketing promotion
The responses were collected on a five (5) point likert scale. The scale being,
1 = Strongly agree
2 = Agree
3 = Moderately Agree
4 = Disagree
5 = Strongly agree
The hypothesis was tested comparing the percentage values of the responses received.
The result showed that 68 percent of the respondents indicated agreement with the statements.
The mean values of the responses were compared for the cost and benefit of marketing promotion and specifically using children in marketing promotion.
Economic benefits, social benefits both had a mean value of 2.70 and information content of Marketing promotion was rated with the mean values of 2.61 respectively. The aggregate benefits stood at the mean value of 2.67.
However, total social costs were rated with the mean value of 2.90. A comparison between benefits and social costs of marketing promotion revealed that the social costs 2.90 outweighed the benefits 2.67 resulting in a net social cost of 0.18. Indicating that the response of cost being more than the benefit.
It was also observed that different social costs of marketing promotion were rated with the mean values ranging between 2.74 for falsity in promotion and 2.92 for cultural degradation of the society. Next to the degradation of the society the promotion creating an affluence attitude was rated with mean value of 2.91, which was followed by loss to the society (2.90) and loss to the child (2.76). The response on the dimensions of exploitation of the consumer psychology by using children in promotion was assigned a mean value of 3.18 indicating disagreement with the statements.
A comparative of benefit and cost mean values without the values of the exploitation of consumer psychology indicated total social costs were rated with the mean value of 2.85.
A comparison between benefits and social costs of marketing promotion revealed that the social costs 2.85 outweighed the benefits 2.67 resulting in a net social cost of 0.23. Indicating that the response of cost being more than the benefit.
On the whole, marketing promotion resulted in higher social costs than the benefits and this indicated much of marketing promotion using children was a social burden and an economic waste thereby reducing the social and economic welfare of the society.
Hypothesis
The objective was studies from theoretical perspective in chapter one of introduction and chapter three of literature review.
The different ethical studies and have pointed to the aspect that marketing promotion has benefits for marketer as it achieves the three objectives of inform, remind and persuade. By making their communications stand out from the competition and clutter of noise of competing companies’ promotion.
For consumers it helps as the primary objective of getting information about availability of products and their features. This is helpful in making a purchase decision.
The objective was further analysed based on the data of responses received in the Hypothesis H1.
The hypothesis statement being,
H1o There is no benefit of using children in marketing promotion
The responses were collected on a five (5) point likert scale. The scale being,
The survey was conducted using a questionnaire which consisted of 14 (fourteen) statements grouped in to 3 dimensions of benefits of promotion in general and benefits from economic and social perspective and achieving the promotion communication purpose of inform.
The hypothesis was tested comparing the percentage values of the responses received.
The result showed that 72.94 percent of the respondents indicated agreement with the statements.
The mean values of the responses were recorded for the benefit of marketing promotion and specifically using children in marketing promotion.
Economic benefits, social benefits both had a mean value of 2.70 and information content of Marketing promotion was rated with the mean values of 2.61 respectively. The aggregate benefits stood at the mean value of 2.67.
The responses indicated that the respondents agreed more with the following statements by 60 percent of the responses being agree with the statement.
1. Innocence of children in promotion is liked by me. 85.21percent agree with the statement.
2. Promotion using children are good source of information about products. 88.5 percent agree with the statement.
3. Promotion using children are good source of information about application of products. 83.58 percent agree with the statement.
4. Promotion using children are good source of information about availability of products. 77 percent agree with the statement.
5. Marketing promotion leads to help in improving quality of life. 77.01 percent agree with the statement.
6. Marketing promotion is essential as there are too many products in the market to choose from. 85.03 percent agree with the statement.
7. Marketing promotion is essential as it leads to competition in the market place. 86.86 percent agree with the statement.
8. Marketing promotion is essential as it leads to availability of better quality of products. 67.51 percent agree with the statement.
9. Use of children in marketing promotion provides scope for the child to show talent. 68.80 percent agree with the statement.
10. Use of children in marketing promotion provides experience of real life to the child for developing self-confidence. 65.51 percent agree with the statement.
11. Use of children in marketing promotion provides name, fame and reputation to the child. 73.72 percent agree with the statement.
The statement and the responses also indicate that as per the respondents there is competition in the mater place and marketers use children in promotion to communicate with the consumers by using the innocence of the child to convey the product information and its application. Responses also indicate that the consumers benefit by getting information and also because of increased completion between marketers.
Hypothesis
The objective was studies from theoretical perspective in chapter one of introduction and chapter three of literature review.
The different ethical studies and have pointed to the aspect that humans should not be used as an object to achieve means. In context of this study children should not be used in marketing promotion for achieving marketing objectives.
The objective was further analysed based on the data of responses received in the Hypothesis H2.
The hypothesis statement being,
H2o There is no ethical cost is using children in marketing promotions
The responses were collected on a five (5) point likert scale. The scale being,
1 = strongly agree
2 = Agree
3 = Moderately Agree
4 = Disagree
5 = strongly agree
The survey was conducted using a questionnaire which consisted of 22 (twenty two) statements grouped in to 6 dimensions of cost of promotion in general and cost from perspective of loss to child, loss to the society, falsity in promotion, promotion creating an affluence attitude, degradation in the society and exploitation of consumer’s psychology.
The hypothesis was tested comparing the percentage values of the responses received.
The result showed that 72.94 percent of the respondents indicated agreement with the statements.
The mean values of the responses were recorded for the benefit of marketing promotion and specifically using children in marketing promotion.
The mean value responses for the 6 groups of responses for the overall twenty two statements were, Loss to the child 2.76, loss to the society 2.90, falsity in promotion 2.74, creating affluence attitude 2.92, degradation of society 2.92 and exploitation of the consumer psychology 3.18. The aggregate benefits stood at the mean value of 2.90.
The mean values of responses indicated that the respondents disagreed with group dimension of exploitation of consumer psychology by assigning a mean response value of 3.18. This as per the response rating scale is disagree.
The individual statement responses indicated that the respondents agreed more with the following statements by more than 60 percent of the responses being agree with the statement.
1. Loss of education to the child. 78.66 percent agree with the statement.
2. Loss of friends 70.43 percent agree with the statement.
3. Loss of moral values 60.58 percent agree with the statement.
4. Promotion exploits the innocence of children 73.18 percent agree with the statement.
5. Legitimises false claim 64.97 percent agree with the statement.
6. Promotion makes false claims on the uses.69.53 percent agree with the statement.
7. Promotion exaggerates usefulness level 75 percent agree with the statement.
8. Excessive emotional appeal 87.23 percent agree with the statement.
9. Promotion makes people live in a fantasy world 60.59 percent agree with the statement.
10. Promotion makes people consume more than one’s means. 60.59 percent agree with the statement.
11. Promotion presents luxury as necessity. 74.63 percent agree with the statement.
12. Consumers are pushed to copy western culture. 68.8 percent agree with the statement.
13. Values distortion due to child being used in promotion. 62.59 percent agree with the statement.
14. Convinced to buy product promoted by child. 60.59 percent agree with the statement.
15. Manipulation of mind by using the child. 68.8 percent agree with the statement.
The statement and the responses also indicate that as per the respondents there is competition in the mater place and marketers use children in promotion to communicate with the consumers by using the innocence of the child to convey the product information and its application. Responses also indicate that the consumers benefit by getting information and also because of increased completion between marketers.
Hypothesis
The objective was further analysed based on the data of responses received in the Hypothesis H4.
The hypothesis statement being,
H4o There is no difference in responses based on gender on use of children in marketing promotion
The responses were collected on a five (5) point likert scale.
The confidence level was taken at 95%.
The hypothesis was tested using the t test and finding the p value for finding the significance of the accepting the hypothesis of no difference in responses of male and female respondents.
The p value was calculated for the 47 statements. The result indicated that for twenty seven (27) statements there was significant difference (p value being less than 0.05). While for 2= twenty (20) statements the responses were seen to be homogeneous (p value being more than 0.05)
The notable difference were observed in male response of disagree with the statement of use of children in particular and promotion in general leading to decrease in price levels, loss of moral values to child being used in promotion, promotion being dishonest and misleading, making false claims and male being convinced to buy product promoted by children. Both male and female respondents agreed that promotion presents luxury as necessity to the consumers.
It was also seen from the responses that male and female respondents gave contrasting responses for two groups of statements. Male respondents disagreed with the statements of promotion leading to creation of affluence attitude while female respondents agreed with the statements. Also the female respondents disagreed with the statements of use of children in promotion in particular and promotion in general leading to degradation in the society while male respondents agreed with the statements.
Mean values comparision of the male and female respondents indicates that the average total of the mean values for benefits group of statements is 2.70 while the
The result showed that 72.94 percent of the respondents indicated agreement with the statements.
The mean values of the responses were recorded for the benefit of marketing promotion and specifically using children in marketing promotion.
The mean value responses for the 6 groups of responses for the overall twenty two statements were, Loss to the child 2.76, loss to the society 2.90, falsity in promotion 2.74, creating affluence attitude 2.92, degradation of society 2.92 and exploitation of the consumer psychology 3.18. The aggregate benefits stood at the mean value of 2.90.
The mean values of responses indicated that the respondents disagreed with group dimension of exploitation of consumer psychology by assigning a mean response value of 3.18. This as per the response rating scale is disagree.
The individual statement responses indicated that the respondents agreed more with the following statements by more than 60 percent of the responses being agree with the statement.
1. Loss of education to the child. 78.66 percent agree with the statement.
2. Loss of friends 70.43 percent agree with the statement.
3. Loss of moral values 60.58 percent agree with the statement.
4. Promotion exploits the innocence of children 73.18 percent agree with the statement.
5. Legitimises false claim 64.97 percent agree with the statement.
6. Promotion makes false claims on the uses.69.53 percent agree with the statement.
7. Promotion exaggerates usefulness level 75 percent agree with the statement.
8. Excessive emotional appeal 87.23 percent agree with the statement.
9. Promotion makes people live in a fantasy world 60.59 percent agree with the statement.
10. Promotion makes people consume more than one’s means. 60.59 percent agree with the statement.
11. Promotion presents luxury as necessity. 74.63 percent agree with the statement.
12. Consumers are pushed to copy western culture. 68.8 percent agree with the statement.
13. Values distortion due to child being used in promotion. 62.59 percent agree with the statement.
14. Convinced to buy product promoted by child. 60.59 percent agree with the statement.
15. Manipulation of mind by using the child. 68.8 percent agree with the statement.
The statement and the responses also indicate that as per the respondents there is competition in the mater place and marketers use children in promotion to communicate with the consumers by using the innocence of the child to convey the product information and its application. Responses also indicate that the consumers benefit by getting information and also because of increased completion between marketers.
Objective no. 2: Study the theoretical aspects of ethics and promotions
Study of different theories and earlier research was conducted. Summary of the studies has been presented in chapter one of introduction and chapter three of literature review.
Personal interviews of marketing organization executives were conducted to understand perception on the issue of use of children in marketing promotion.
The common theme of the responses from industry professionals was that the most important thing is to ensure compliance to the law of the land. Which indicated that the issue from marketer’s perspective of more of regulation compliance.
Most of the studies conducted by researchers has been focused towards impact of advertising on children. This also indicated gaps in the ethical literature on ethical issues in marketing by children.
The major aspects of ethics can be classified in to the two schools of teleological (a theory of ethics (as utilitarianism or ethical egoism, according to which the rightness of an act is determined by its end) to deontological (duty or obligation based ethics).
From the perspective of both the schools of thoughts use of children would fall in to the unethical category.
Since as an end effect of the use of child being in marketing promotion is the effect on the development of the child. Also from a deontological perspective the duty of the society at large is to ensure unhindered development of the child.
The behavior of the respondents when exposed to promotion being done by using children was similar in rejecting the statements of avoiding it by the three situational statement of switching attention or doing other work or switching television channels or asking the child to silence.
Which is an indicator of the responses given when asked about the causes and remedial actions in the last set of statement where the respondents were in agreement that the existing law, monitoring of cases of children being abused or misused and the conviction of defaulters needs strengthening.
SUGGESTION
When asked with five remedial situations to check the use of children in marketing promotion the respondents gave similar responses to of agree to creation of strict laws and also parents to say no to their children being used in marketing promotion.
Respondents were also agreement with the other three situation of strict implementation of law, society to reject the products being promoted by children and companies also to contribute by following law and a code of conduct not engage children for marketing promotion.
As stated in the first chapter the marketing organisations were clear to follow the law of the lad clearly and completely. Which indicates that there is an urgent need to strengthen the regulatory environment. A look at the present child labour law indicates that there is a gap in the existing law which is silent on children being used in marketing promotion. Thre is an urgent need to bridge the gap in the law if we are to prohibit the use of children in marketing promotion.
1) The ethical issues in use of marketing promotion are multiple and thus multiple variables need to be considered for study.
The respondents view the ethical issues from the benefit and cost perspective for use of children in marketing promotion.
LIMITATIONS
1) The methodological assumption that sample have the quality of representativeness of the population may not be true in practice. The sample may not be representative of more general population. This is a factor that limits the generalisability of results. Focused samples of household populations should be taken on the basis of the independent factors taken in this study in replicating and extending the research study.
2) A longitudinal study design measuring consumer responses in two time periods would be appropriate for further study like this in order to get more accurate and precise results. Further, a quasi-experimental research design with more sophisticated statistical analyses should be used to learn exactly the direction and strength of the relationships among the variables.
3) Another methodological assumption that all respondents will have the same exposure to the intervening external variables may not be true in practice.
Therefore, the effects of these variables may not be common to all consumers that may influence the manner in which they respond in the advertising tests.
4) It is assumed that the data obtained on interval level fulfill the requirement for carrying out the statistical tests.
5) Even though due care was taken to check the problem of intervening variables the individual respondents biases might have affected the responses.
6) Availability of authentic and validated data on different elements of marketing promotion viz, Publicity and public relations, sales promotion, personal sales and advertising was a limiting factor.
7) Any study involving materials from the real world in the context of abstract constructs will necessarily face the resolution of uncontrollable influences. Two such influences would be respondents’ differences in the number of prior exposure to ads and the differences in brand familiarity. But the researcher doesn’t perceive these influences to be critical.
8) The method of using questionnaire as a research instrument poses a problem. Even though this method has been used in previous research, of course, there was some difficulty in tapping the information on ad attributes, since the respondents were not exposed to a live commercial at the time of administering the questionnaire.
9) It is assumed in the context of reliability and validity of tools that face validity by experts is enough for measures, which use battery of statements or single question.
10) The questionnaire for consumer survey was slightly lengthy and complex which required more time than the normal attention span of respondents. Since the administration of questionnaire and data collection was completed over a period of eight months, consumers’ choice of ads for unaided questions included a wide range of ads, depending on the current ads in circulation at the time of data collection. Due to this there is a possibility that some of the test ads were in saturation at the time of questionnaire administration.
MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY
The findings of this study have wider implications for marketing and advertising managers of corporate undertakings, which deal in frequently purchased consumer goods. The most important among these is that managers can minimise the advertising wastage by diverting the resources from advertising agencies that do not follow high creativity standards. As rational client, they can even reshape their advertising message based on the results of this study so that optimum allocation of resources can be ensured. It is also important that these findings can be clearly and concisely communicated in terms of their potential value as an aid to strategy and tactical planning. Anyhow, translating this researched effect into market effects requires considerable use of managerial judgment. Marketing managers of consumer product companies may also find these results useful in learning the type of advertising efforts, which increase the level of awareness for their brand.
The results of this study may be one useful indicator of effectiveness of the brand’s advertising relative to use of the method or actors in the advertisement. Unfortunately such advertising research programme often is not included in budgeting advertising expenditure. Using a research programme of identifying ethical issues in marketing promotion would likely increase the perceived accountability of the senior management.
The reported results have the ability to highlight the need for advertising research and it may inculcate an in-house research environment within the company settings. For marketing and advertising researchers the present results suggest need to reexamine the relationship among various measures of advertising performance. This may lead them to an understanding of the complexity and richness of these relationships and the underlying processes represented by these relationships.
The present study results may even be extended towards resolving the existing conflicts. Both academic researchers and practitioners agree that higher level of ethical perspective is needed to achieve better results.
There is historic evidence that the views of both creative people and ‘ research personnel have been a source of conflict. But it is meaningless in the strict sense that the work of the researcher is to identify valid, new meanings and that the work of the creative person is to find novel ways to communicate these meanings. In fact, the most effective advertising does both. which is evident from this study.
SUGGESTIONS FOR PRACTICE
Although a single study cannot provide a sound basis for the practice of advertising in particular and promotion in general. This study and other studies with similar findings would suggest that the professionals in marketing should not underestimate the value of ethics in its effectiveness and should give due consideration for this aspect in planning marketing campaigns. The promotion effect results may open up a new ethics in marketing discussion on how to minimise the ‘communication ethics’ in promotion. In fact, advertisers and copywriters may find these results interesting for a number of reasons.
This study has offered a new perspective based on empirical evidence, which should help face criticisms of ethics applications. Given the intensity of social criticism of highly creative promotion tactics using children, clients of advertising agencies may express reluctance concerning their use. In response to such concerns, advertising executives can use the current study as a mandate for serious, more objective considerations in conjunction with careful empirical assessment. Additionally, this study provides more ‘tangible’ evidence for the consideration of ethical strategy in advertising. Advertising strategists can look at the choice of such a strategy of using children to promote products and services as a viable option considering all of the performance concerns thereto. Results from this approach serve as a feedback to the creative process of promotion design, thus reducing the likelihood of future unfavourable outcomes.
From the point of view of copy writing, the results provide direction for the teaching of ethical strategies, potentially allowing copywriters to develop more successful ads. It also provides creative guidance for the improvement of future copy and serves as aid to judgment. Further, this refinement effort may provide a better understanding of the factors underlying consumer attitudes toward the use of children in marketing, thereby aiding future copy development.
The main contribution of this study is in operationalising the ethical parameters. The ethical norms used in the study provide clear benchmarks for advertisers to judge the success of their advertising in communicating their strategy against agreed upon action standards. The findings also offer some insight to those who must develop their own guidelines concerning the use of children in particular and ethics in marketing.
Based on this study, marketers can interpret how consumers form attitudes towards the ads featuring children and for their brands. With the help of such understanding, marketers can develop practical guidelines for more effective planning. This is where this particular study makes a substantive contribution by providing more detailed insight into just how different factors interact and how such interactions can be more effectively used to shape consumer perceptions.
To summerise, this study has proved useful in the effort to identify some definable ways of making more effective advertising and, hope, will continue to grow in the hands of diligent and inspired marketing people. This new learning about how use of children in promotion works can be systematically applied towards developing advertising campaigns that sells.
In the light of these implications for practice, the researcher wishes to make some recommendations for implementing the findings to the professionals engaged in the advertising agencies.
1) Always pre-test the ad with target consumers before finalisation in order to ensure the creativity standard of the proposed campaign. Creative directors may see that the selected ethical parameters are strictly adhered to.
2) Clearly define the communication objective of the promotion at the conception stage itself and stick to it in later executions.
The information value and irritation level in ads also determine advertising effectiveness. Due care may be given in adding the information value to the required level in each ad. Both copywriters and art directors must be aware of the ethical perspective of ads, which form consumers’ attitude towards promotion and should strive for obtaining favourable attitude so that Purchase Intention can be achieved.
FUTURE RESEARCH
‘The findings of this study provide some benchmarks for those who wish to study the issues further. This survey study addressed some issues in an explorative way to provide some preliminary findings in order to stimulate further research on the topic.
This has definitely paved the way for subsequent work, which will give a better feel for the expansive applicability of much of what the researcher found. Yet there is still more to be pursued in a deliberate and well thought out fashion and to be accomplished. The research possibilities for extended, systematic replications are quite numerous, but potentially well worth the effort. Actually replications of this work are needed to further substantiate its conclusions and to give conclusive evidence regarding the reasons behind these findings.
In continuation to the present study, additional academic research is needed which determines the performance of different ethical ‘forms’. Hopefully, it will initiate research on the development of taxonomy of the many ethical techniques, which can be used to aid in the communication of key messages in various product categories. It is believed that the methodology used in this study will lend itself to similar research employing Advertising ethics as independent variable. Actually what is needed is that market researchers and agency creatives should jointly investigate the effectiveness of different ethical techniques on enhancing message communication and persuasion. This will ensure significant progress towards true research and ethical partnership. There is a further need to investigate the products and consumers for knowing which ethical style would be most effective and appropriate.
Future research in this area would also do well to follow an orientation in probing the underlying commonalities of ethical award winning advertising examples. To contribute useful guidance to researchers and marketers alike, it seems important to broaden this exploration and to monitor changes that occur from year to year.
Here is a simple study on using children for promotion, designed to test the hypothesis. The study has been done taking responses of Maharashtra state. The researcher would not try to argue that Maharashtra respondents are the general public. Rather they are a very specific market segment whose reactions may well differ from those of other segments. The reliability of the present study’s findings should be checked using other populations also.
While this study was limited to six divisional headquarters towns of Maharashtra state only, further research is needed to question accepted statements. The need for further research in this area becomes very important with the increased focus on direct marketing and increased employment of personal selling as promotional tools. Added to this, the depth of our data was not sufficient to allow many of the analyses the researcher would have liked.
Therefore more sophisticated statistical tests should also be applied in future.
There is also a possibility of measuring attitudes over time periods, as in the case of sales measurement, rather than at a particular point of time. Research is definitely needed to address a potential practical problem to the present study, i.e., cost and benefits of use of children in promotion. Alternative measures of ethical measurements should also be used in future studies.
It is hoped that the present study in conjunction with future studies in this area, will give advertising and marketing executives a better understanding of ethical issues in promotion and will help them to design better and more effective promotion campaigns. It is also hoped that future research on ethics in use of children in promotion will be carried on in both the university and advertising agency settings where this collective thought can be submitted to critical testing.
CONCLUSION
Marketing promotion in general and use of children in marketing promotion in particular are perceived by people with mixed reactions. Broadly, these mixed reactions fall into benefits and social costs. Each of these broader views is examined by researchers from several viewpoints or the dimensions and these dimensions for analysis have no set boundaries and hence there is a leeway resulting in different approaches to the study of m Marketing promotion. The present study made an attempt to examine the issue with a broader coverage with 47 variables under 12 dimensions. Further, the study was carried out by including the perceptions of all 548 respondents under universal analysis and also under group analysis with the latter being analyzed from the viewpoint of perceptional differences based on gender, age and occupation. From the viewpoint of universal analysis, the results indicated that the social benefits costs were considerably higher than the cost of using children in promotion leading to the broader conclusion that the use of children in marketing promotion was not a waste. The other broader and unique conclusions were that the benefits of marketing promotion were overrated by women, youth as against men. In totality, the demographics influenced the perceptional ratings with regard to differences in the magnitude of ratings but the results were not found to be statistically significant for most of the variables and dimensions of marketing promotion.

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