The name -does- define the child, to a very large degree. It defines what they do, how they interact, what peer groups they fit into, etc.
In essence, then, what they are selling is not just the "naming rights", but the child itself. This is NOT "adoption", as the parents are still taking care of it. Adoption is arguably ethical. This is not. This is some variant on child slavery.
Isn't that going a bit too far?
Maybe not. Think about it. As other posters have noted, the company will want SOMETHING for their money. A poster child would be great. Lots of media attention even better. But that requires that the company (and the parents) have ABSOLUTE power over that child. Not just the routine stuff, but total dominion. That child has no power to say no, to expect fair and decent treatment, or to expect a nurturing environment.
The only environment they'll know is an insidious, cruel one.
The parents aren't interested in the child's well-being. They want to get rich, quick, using a new scam. The companies aren't interested in the child's well-being. They want the publicity and cash-flow that it can generate.
If, at some age, those parents and the winning company jointly realise that the child has no more cash value alive, but a "mysterious accident" could rake in a little more, what's the kid's life-expectancy?
That's a bit dramatic, isn't it? Surely they wouldn't go that far?
Why not? What's the difference? The parents are already seeing cold cash as more meaningful than a warm child. Is it REALLY so "obvious" to say that that life is going to suddenly start meaning more, when the cash-flow starts running out?
Parents regard children as property. And, arguably, someone has to be responsible for them. The child isn't capable of full, cognitive, logical thinking from the word go. And, even if they were, they wouldn't have the knowledge to be able to make use of that.
However, there is a world of difference between being responsible and owning the child. The child is not a car, or a coffee mug. I hope that this is challanged, and that children are liberated from this semi-legal slavery.