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Children and marketing

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    Children and marketing

    Just found this interesting link, thought I'd share with you:

    Great New Book on How Corporations Are Brainwashing Children

    August 30, 2004

    Juliet Schor has just written the best book yet on marketing to children,
    titled Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture.

    Much of the book is a fine review of how corporations advertise to children,
    with illuminating interviews of advertising executives.

    But what makes the book a standout is Schor's new research on the effects of
    marketing and commercial culture on children. By far, it's the best
    research yet on how marketing harms kids.

    Schor is a professor of sociology at Boston College (and soon-to-be member
    of Commercial Alert's board of directors).

    For Born to Buy, Schor conducted a Survey on Children, Media and Consumer
    Culture, to answer the question of how childrenšs involvement in the
    commercial culture affects their well-being. She used a complex statistical
    technique (called structural equation modeling) to analyze the data, which
    allowed her to determine directions of causality.

    The results are fascinating.

    "High consumer involvement is a significant cause of depression, anxiety,
    low self-esteem and psychosomatic complaints," in children, Schor reports.
    "Psychologically healthy children will be made worse off if they become more
    enmeshed in the culture of getting and spending. Children with emotional
    problems will be helped if they disengage from the worlds that corporations
    are constructing for them."

    She also found that "Higher levels of consumer involvement result in worse
    relationships with parents."

    Schor's book reaffirms the importance of the Parents' Bill of Rights, a set of nine legislative
    proposals to allow parents to control the commercial influences on their children.


    Interesting article. But I don´t need to read a book to know that kids are brainwashed by the Media these days.
    The Pakistani Brain of the Austria (formerly known as "The Pakistani Brain of UAE")


      Yes, I imagine a lot of us feel/know that.

      The interesting (and mostly new) information here is about exactly what that translates into in terms of behaviour and happiness.


        Question is, how do we counter such stuff?

        Noor is only 18 months old yet everytime the commercial for Marineland starts, she drops what she is doing and runs to the television. She stands before the monitor, mesmerized, until the ad ends and then turns to me and says, "Noon ko jana hai."

        I know that if I take her there now, she will not even realize that it's the same place that she sees on tv, but how can I say no?


          ^ I havent got any children or any real experience with them, but one thing, I dont think really young children especiallly under 2 should ever be allowed to watch television.


            Television is a really powerful marketing tool. Kids DON'T understand that what they see in not necessarily reality (and how many adults do?) so as M says I think it's really important to limit the amount of TV that small children see.

            In some countries (Scandinavia?) children's programs are not allowed to have advertising. I wish that would become a reality in many more parts of the world.

            Personally, we limit TV time - selected programs and only half an hour a day when they were little, now a bit longer. I have friends who allow their children "TV time" with videocassettes or taped programs from which commercials have been taken out. Many good videos exist which can also teach children to have a social conscience. And I have other friend who have simply thown away their TV sets. All in all it may mean you have to look at your own TV viewing habits and remember that example is a great and powerful teacher.

            TV becomes really important when there are not so many other things to do - with adults or children of the same age. Family outings and games and other activities. I know that when there were other children to play with my kids never had any trouble choosing play over TV. Reading aloud or playing cards or Scrabble or other games is a great favourite in many homes where TV use is limited.

            When children get older, you can involve them in discussions on how to spend money and be responsible consumers. When they realize that they can choose but they can't have it all they become remarkably responsible. The idea of saving and then spending it on something useful, or of helping someone who has almost nothing can be very educative. Even later you can help them understand the they have choices to make about how to live that will have an effect on the world and on future generations. Recycling and care for teh environment are part of this.

            I have found many useful sources of information and support out there. Mothering magazine is a great favourite! try their site

            There are also other sources of information where you may find articles of interest such as and