Sunday, August 16, 2009

consuming kids

I watched the documentary Consuming Kids: The Commercialisation Of Childhood (on iview) tonight. The film was produced by Media Education Foundation in the United States. It was eye opening to say the least and a timely reminder of the omnipresent power of marketing on us all - let alone small children.

Whist I gather that the situation in the United States is much worse than it is here in Oz, where there are at least some regulations, watching the documentary reinforced to me the value of hand made non-mass produced items.

For me the film also raised very personal concerns and questions. How, as a mother, do I protect my children from such sophisicated forms of marketing? Marketing that at its very heart would have my children value themselves less if they don't possess products being promoted. Marketing that is ubiquitous.

"This generation of children is marketed to as never before. Kids are being marketed to through brand licensing, through product placement, marketing in schools, through stealth marketing, through viral marketing. There's DVDs, there's video games, there's the internet, there are iPods, there are cell phones. There are so many more ways of reaching children so that there is a brand in front of a child's face every moment of every day." - Dr. Susan Linn, the Director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

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