Paternalism, limited paternalism and the pontius pilate plight when researching children

Journal of Business Ethics 32 (1):81 - 92 (2001)
Abstract
Recognizing the immense purchasing power of children, marketing researchers often gather information from them. Given the vulnerability of these children as research subjects, this paper explores the different ethical standards that marketing researchers could adopt in their research efforts. The Paternalistic Ethical Standard and the Limited Paternalistic Ethical Standard are discussed and the ethical quandary known as the Pontius Pilate Plight is identified in the context of the latter standard. An enhanced version of the Limited Paternalistic Standard is suggested as an ethical guide for marketing researchers. Based on interviews with professional marketing researchers to gauge the applicability of the proposed standard, managerial implications are identified.
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