Businesses tricking children into thinking that brands can solve non-existent problems

May 24, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

I really like the message delivered by Josh Golin of Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood. [Note: I interviewed Josh here.] This speech was giving at the February 2008  Conference for Reclaiming Childhood From Corporate Marketers.

First of all, yes, a healthy childhood lifestyle is something that is extremely difficult to commodify. That fact means that when you see commercial entities trying to convince children to buy things, it is almost certainly an attempt to convince families that there is a problem where there really isn’t one.

Golin states that “children are being targeted relentlessly with the lie that it is brands that will make them happy, cool, powerful and sexy.”  He scoffs that the problem can be addressed by allowing businesses to “self-regulate.”

In this speech, Josh clearly identifies some of the specific problems with allowing advertisers into the hearts and minds of children.  And then he tells some stories about how people are fighting back.

Here are parts II and III of Josh’s speech:


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Category: American Culture, Consumerism

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Niklaus Pfirsg says:

    I think one of the worst effects that marketing to children has, is that it is a destructive influence on the development of social skills of the children.

    By implication that what one owns determines how well they are accepted, this marketing trend is encouraging the development of kids who grow up to be self centered and irresponsible with with the attitude that someone else should pay the bill.

    Hmmm… now that I think about it, they sound like neocons.

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