Consuming Kids

First half of a documentary film (shown on Russian Television this weekend, hence the logo and news crawl on the screen) from the Media Education Foundation about the increasing commercialization of children.

Drawing on the insights of health care professionals, children’s advocates, and industry insiders, the film focuses on the explosive growth of child marketing in the wake of deregulation in the U.S., showing how youth marketers have used the latest advances in psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to transform American children into one of the most powerful and profitable consumer demographics in the world.

Update: Here’s the remaining half of the programme.


9 Replies to “Consuming Kids”

  1. *shudder*

    The marketing execs make me puke.

    Lucy Hughes, Initiative Media (with the voice of an 8 year-old): “It is ethical? I don’t know, but…”

    Speaker at Kid Power Conference, youth marketing seminar: “Anti-social behaviour in pursuit of a product is a good thing.”

  2. Behold the unfettered free market in all its splendour. If one looks back to the late pop culture nineties, you can see the seeds of this new golden age of marketing below the coveted 18-34 demographic and finding a whole swathe of preteens and grade school children whose purchasing magically is invulnerable to fluctuations in economic activity. Often, the more loquacious of right wingers like to make the claim that the infantilization of citizenry stems from the “nanny state” to which I say, when did the “nanny state” get involved in the commoditization of self gratification thereby existentially linking one’s sense self to their materialistic excesses? They haven’t of course. It is thanks to these new hip ad companies and marketers.

    One cannot ignore the ironic twist that the mid tier positions in advertisement and marketing are most likely filled now with men and women of the MTV generation or Gen Xers. Moreover, these very people are tasked with coming up with ways in marketing to the succeeding generation that has essentially rejected counterculture that the Gen Xers know so well, and given the current high levels of youth employment, it will be interesting to see how they can squeeze more money out of the kids. I have even heard some demographers label the Generation Y as the next “Lost Generation.” If they lose their purchasing power then, this whole structure will fall like a house of cards.

  3. Hi
    Agree with the general hubbub this creates.
    Unfortunately most agencies are ignorant of all the issues around this subject and just have their eyes on the money spent by their clients.
    I’ve been in this market for over 20 years and I don’t have a problem with brands marketing to children so long as there is no attempt to exploit them…
    …and herein lies the problem as many manufacturers don’t get this. They don’t care enough about the consumer. These are the ones who should be banned.
    It’s about balance and telling the truth, which unfortunately is hard to come by these days.
    We must all shoulder responsibility

  4. ..and this week, the Conservative Party of Canada seeks to expand the use of “children” to market themselves by creating and expanded “big brother” in our country to “protect the children”.

    Where the hell is the so-called Liberal opposition.

    I have a vote getting ready to be parked somewhere other than Conservative today.

  5. I have a vote getting ready to be parked somewhere other than Conservative today.

    Have you contacted your Conservative MP about your dissatisfaction? Or is scolding Liberals the only thing you’re capable of?

  6. “Where the hell is the so-called Liberal opposition.”

    Too busy nodding their heads and voting with Harper on any of his ‘tough on crime’ batshit bills. For if they do not, within 24 hours there will be 10 percenters blanketing our nation showing how the Grits are soft on crime.

  7. For if they do not, within 24 hours there will be 10 percenters blanketing our nation showing how the Grits are soft on crime.

    Not just soft on crime. Soft on child porn and child predation. Purveyors of it. Pedophiles, even!

  8. TG.. didn’t have a chance to respond yesterday.

    Uh. Yeah, actually I did write my MP.. of course now I’m either “soft on child porn” or, better yet, another “child porn pervert” because I happen to think that allowing government to not only spy on us, but conscript private business to do their spying for them is maybe not such a good idea…

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