Marketing to children – Examining parental regulatory preferences using parenting styles framework


The authors acknowledge the contribution of Mr. Seshu Chamarty in translating the instrument from English to Telugu.


The study aims to understand and highlight parental regulatory preferences for restricting marketing activities targeted at children. It also examines the utility of parenting styles’ framework in predicting these parental preferences. The data was collected from 400 parents of school-going children, studying between classes I to VII, using a bilingual (English and Telugu) 3- part self-reporting questionnaire. In this study, majority of the parents demanded tougher statutory restrictions to limit the marketing activities aimed at children. Further, the study revealed that authoritarian and authoritative parents are more supportive of statutory restrictions than permissive parents. The study also resulted in the identification of the sociodemographic factors influencing parental regulatory preferences. With majority of the parents demanding tougher statutory restrictions, policymakers will be forced to think and act towards strengthening the regulatory landscape for limiting childtargeted marketing. Further, marketers have to be conscious of the fact that parents are demanding closer scrutiny and restrictions on their actions, and initiate voluntary measures to reassure the parents.

Keywords:Marketing to Children, Parental Regulatory Preferences, Parenting styles


Children are viewed as an important demographic by marketers, as they buy products for their own consumption, influence family purchases, and are potential future consumers (John, 1999; McNeal, 1992).

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