Target Market



Two stories on the radio news this morning have given me hope – hope that as a society we are slowing waking up to the fact that “the market” is not fit for purpose in many areas to which it has been extended. The first was a criticism of how broadband has been rolled out into rural areas in the UK. Apparently, the government has not regulated the market sufficiently to allow proper competition and the best price for all concerned. “What’s that?’ I hear you say. “Government intervention in the market is necessary at times to ensure that it works for the benefit of all?”

The second story was about how computer games marketed to children are exploiting them. This is because many games are free in their basic form, but then to continue in the game and to be able to play it properly, you have to buy more and more add-ons, which turns out to be very expensive. Again, perhaps there is a realisation that it is inappropriate to apply the usual rules of the game when selling to children. There are things which we value more than can be expressed via market mechanisms, such as our children. Common Cause has already identified advertising at children as an issue which should concern us all. For more on how the market has reached far into areas where its values distort and diminish what we truly find valuable, I highly recommend this book: What Money Can’t Buy by Michael Sandel


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