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: http://www.commercialalert.org. 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. http://www.democracyinaction.org/...