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For those who have kids, those who work with kids, and those who generally find the intrusion of marketing and ad creep into almost every nook of our remaining public sphere. Today's article in Pediatrics Journal is a call to arms.  read the article: http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...

I am impressed that the white coats were courageous enough to take on more than the low hanging fruit of tobacco and alcohol and also take on the pharmaceutical industry for incessant ED ads and the hypocrisy that almost nowhere to be seen is advertising for birth control.

And while I expect the knee jerk libertarian response to flame me as some  proxy for social conservatives, I really see this as a bi-partisan issue that both progressives and social conservatives can work together on in the fight against exorbitant pressure on very young children to consume unhealthy and unneeded crap (please read the article and disclose if your bread is buttered by one of the listed industries or an ad agency when you flame me).  

For further information you may find alot of related info on opportunistic marketing to children at: I am parent of a toddler and I am also a lawyer who has reviewed enough of the tobacco industry documents published online by the Minnesota Attorney General's Office to conclude that Big Tobacco knew what the other industry's know: hit kids when they are young and impressionable.

The pushback on this issue is that it is up to parent's to control what advertising kids see. Read Juliet Schor's book "Born to Buy" for an excellent reply to that argument. Schor makes the point that with embedded product placement, ads located even in school busses and classrooms, high % of ads per hour on kids programs, product "partnerships" between fast food hawkers and children's public television shows, and a multitude of other methods of advertising (which are banned in many countries in Europe), the marketers here push parents to the side and pedal their wares even to the youngest children without giving parents much "control" at all. For example ever taken a kid through a grocery store and noticed what kind of "food" is in the brightest, most interesting packaging?

For those with a strong sense of libertarian identity and a need to strike back at any perceived intrusion on the right to market anything to anyone of any age, please take a couple deep breaths and be open to the possibility that none of my opinions, nor those of the authors of the Pediatrics article are against you. I really don't think it should be mutually exclusive to cut back on the marketing of crap to kids and at the same time have unrestricted speech targetted to adults. And for those in the pediatric ad industry, have you no shame? Can't you find some better way to feed your family than hawking beer, cigarettes, and junk food to kids? At least for those of you without concience, this article confirms what your own egos already tell you, your ads are more influential on whether a child becomes a teen smoker than even parental smoking history. Yep, advertising is powerful stuff.

And while I really don't know whether there are enough combined Democratic and Republican to stand up to the combined lobbying wieght of the folks who like unfettered access to market to young children, there is good proposed legislation which could start to reign this in and you can let your reps know about it.

Originally posted to Stumptown Dave on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:03 PM PST.


Unfettered Marketing to children under 7 years old

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips/ Flames (6+ / 0-)

    I don't post diaries often (twice a year). I do really hold this issue close to my heart. And I do hope we can make progress on moving the Parent's Bill of Rights Legislation.

  •  Okay, bipartisan---but this is moot & it is... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...just a stalking horse for limitations on corporations that are long overdue for being reinstituted.

    So, there you have it:  J'accuse, Monsieur !!
    You are a stalkiing horse for the MONeY PARTY - that band of merry Rovian co-conspirators a/k/a CHEAP LABOR CONSERVATIVES !!

    But nice try for bipartisanship.  We don't need no stinkin' bipartisanship - we need some regulations on corporations that are long, long overdue.  Maybe we could add this on to the agenda for the FCC, when we get the White House in '08 sucka. (I do a mean Mr.T.)

    (-7.63,-6.21) Between Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama - Huh, and I'm a moderate Democrat with a VOTEBLUE tattoo.

    by ezdidit on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:06:53 PM PST

    •  Not a corporatist (0+ / 0-)

      And I'll take bi-partisan support when I need it to push an issue that goes against every lobbying payroll in DC....

      •  FCC is supposed to initiate & enforce these regs (0+ / 0-)

        But go ahead and waste precious time on your project.  I still think that you are disingenuous about the subtext I exposed.  If you are not duplicitous, then I have been trolled once again - this time by an HONEST man!! A first!!

        (-7.63,-6.21) Between Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama - Huh, and I'm a moderate Democrat with a VOTEBLUE tattoo.

        by ezdidit on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:40:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Like anti-gun legislation, abortion legislation.. (0+ / 0-)

    ...under any stripe, a queen is just a queen, but sometimes a queen is a raving queen in heat.  Do not go there.  You make an issue out of a non-issue due for oversight under the excellent administrative auspices of the FCC, Monsieur. Come the revolution, which may be televised, a President worth this capitalization would re-arm the agencies and bureaus that bush has gutted.

    (-7.63,-6.21) Between Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama - Huh, and I'm a moderate Democrat with a VOTEBLUE tattoo.

    by ezdidit on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:10:49 PM PST

  •  I found their recommendations tame... (5+ / 0-)

    Here is most of the meat of their recommendations for ad limits for small kids:

    • ask Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to limit commercial advertising on children's programming to no more than 5 to 6 minutes/hour, which would decrease the current amount by 50%;

    • ask Congress to restrict alcohol advertising to what is known as "tombstone advertising," in which only the product is shown, not cartoon characters or attractive women;

    • ask Congress to implement a ban on junk-food advertising during programming that is viewed predominantly by young children;

    We should have an outright ban on advertising to children under 8 or so. Period. End of story. I am willing to try free market solutions, but not with children's brains.

    •  The Proposed Parents Bill of Rights is stronger (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It would go further than what The Journal of Pediatrics calls for. Commercial Alert, a group promoting that legislation is a true grassroots non-profit run by Gary Ruskin. He does great work on this issue.

  •  I was watching a television program (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stumptown Dave, Ted Hitler, docangel

    geared to adults (nothing raunchy, just an HGTV show, I think) while my 2-year-old grandson was in the room.  He paid no attention to the television program, but whenever an ad came on, he turned to watch it.  Not only is the advertising often inappropriate, but it seems, anecdotally at least, to be designed to draw attention from the casual viewer.

    George Bush - the Torture President

    by myrealname on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:16:50 PM PST

  •  You Can Market Freely to 8 Year Olds When` (0+ / 0-)

    8 year olds can be the jury for your murder trial.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:46:48 PM PST

  •  It's rough, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    we avoided the advertising and everything else, by practically turning the tv off entirely when our kids were born.  My wife and I watch a couple of shows that we tape and watch at our convenience and fast forward through the commercials.  The TV is on occasionally for live sporting events, but anymore, even those typically get taped and watched in pieces or after the kids are to bed.  They get a bit of cartoons on weekends and the dam has breeched a bit with advertising there.

    Of course there is plenty of advertising out there that is beyond our control.  But both of them, age 5 and 7, are well aware and can explain advertising to you and will point it out to me, unprovoked, at times.  They will see ads for trucks driving up mountains and will tell me that trucks don't really do that, but they want you to buy their truck.

    I just don't have that much time for TV.  

    Not looking for kudos here, just saying that there is definitely an off switch on the dang thing.

    2,904 wrongs don't make a right.

    by desertbug on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:07:29 PM PST

    •  Sports shows are where alcohol gets sold to kids (0+ / 0-)

      The article suggests that alcohol ads are specifically targetted to kids through sports programming.

      •  i know (0+ / 0-)

        but the sports programming that is on in my house is primarily soccer matches (which don't have commercials except at half-time), or it's a football game or baseball game that I taped earlier and I watch it and fast-forward through the ads.

        We were actually watching something in real-time this last weekend, and the kids were telling me to fast-forward through the commercials.  I told them we couldn't do it and they were puzzled.

        The advertising is bad, that's no doubt, but for me, the worse thing is the number of hours spent as "together time", where everybody is in the same room, but there is zero interaction going on.  That's the kind of anesthesia that kills family life and family interaction.

        2,904 wrongs don't make a right.

        by desertbug on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 11:33:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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