According to The Guardian, unethical marketing practices in campaigns targeted at children are defined as those which prey upon the fact that children are more easily manipulated and influenced than adults. These tactics may present information in such a way as to trick children into believing something that is not true or taking an action that is not in their best interest.
The Guardian notes that any marketing campaign that introduces children to sexual content, violence or unrealistic body image can be considered extremely unethical. Even though studies show that children are able to distinguish between marketing and other forms of media from a very early age, they are still far more likely to accept any information presented to them as true and without bias. Unethical marketing to children exploits this key difference between adult and child audiences and places marketability above the welfare of the children who experience the marketing content.
There are various watchdog groups devoted to making sure that certain standards of marketing ethics, including those for campaigns targeted at children, are followed closely. In spite of this, there are still unethical marketing practices that occur, such as campaigns aimed at children that feature inappropriate content for their target audience.