Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Next story:
Previous story:

Mass Consumerism And You

Filed under: Morning Grumpy
Tags: ,

The Super Bowl weekend is notorious for its gluttony and pervasive advertising, so I thought I’d post some counterprogramming for those of us who find this weekend’s fetishism of advertising and marketing to be, well, a bit obscene.

I’d like to present a series of videos culled from a documentary titled, Consuming Kids.

Consuming Kids throws desperately needed light on the practices of a relentless multi-billion dollar marketing machine that now sells kids and their parents everything from junk food and violent video games to bogus educational products and the family car. 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, 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.

Consuming Kids pushes back against the wholesale commercialization of childhood, raising urgent questions about the ethics of children’s marketing and its impact on the health and well-being of kids.

Here’s the trailer:


As a parent of two toddlers, I see the pervasive marketing and advertising that is intended to influence my children and ultimately, my buying decisions. It’s everywhere, it’s immersive and it’s intended to insinuate brand awareness into every aspect of our lives. It’s the ultimate manifestation of a corporatist culture which demands that new consumers be introduced into the market at the earliest possible stage.

While we all ultimately have the final decision-making power with our dollars, the marketing stream stacks the deck against those of us who wish to delay our child’s entrance into the consumer culture.

Think Baby Einstein videos are helping your child learn? Think again. Think a barrage of sexualized messages about a market interpretation of beauty are having a negative effect on your daughter’s body image? You’re right.

We are the only industrialized nation with no standards or statutory guidelines on advertising to children. We used to have guidelines on this, but in 1980, the toy companies led a lobbying effort to repeal any limitations or standards which resulted into the bible of childhood marketing, the FTC Improvement Act of 1980. The documentary does a thorough job of demonstrating that “consumerizing” our children at such a young age results in serious financial and health risks for them.

Click through to watch the film…

Full Version:

I’m also breaking it into multiple parts to make it easier to watch in smaller chunks.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

Part 7:

  • rastamick

    Cheer up, McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell are no longer using pink slime (“trimmings” soaked in ammonium chloride) in their hamburger meat to make it go farther. Why do people make fun of Vegans again ?

  • Baby Einstein videos got me through college.

    Seriously, businesses trying to consumerize childhood is sad — even sadder is parents who surrender their children to it.

  • Joseph Coppola

    Out of desperation I ate a McD cheese burger last wednesday. YEECHH! I don’t think there is any thing organic in them. I should have headed to Neighbor’s pub on Kenmore Ave or the Wellington on Hertel. Those are burgers! (and the have draught Sam Adams too!) For Super Bowel (Great Game!) We had venison chilli. (Yeah, mean ol’ Joe shot the deer too!)

  • Jesse

    “As a parent of two toddlers, I see the pervasive marketing and advertising that is intended to influence my children and ultimately, my buying decisions. It’s everywhere, it’s immersive and it’s intended to insinuate brand awareness into every aspect of our lives.”

    As a parent of two toddlers, I have not had the same problems you do. Netflix and Youtube are marvelous things. The only live TV my kids see are Sabres games (when the Bills suck it’s easier to turn that shit off) and the nightly news.

    Other than that, it’s movies off Netflix, or Peep and the Big Wide World on Youtube. Oh, and I started showing the older girl A New Hope the other day. Still a little young.

    I know it ain’t easy, that’s for sure. But cutting that shit out is critical. Send your kids to a private school (suck it up, and fight for real school choice while you’re at it). Cut off TV time. And get them interested in the right stuff early. You’ll be okay, and your kids will kick the crap out of the mass consumer kids forever.

  • I’m sorry, what does “school choice” have to do with this? Privatizing education, like any other Government service, is actually anti-democratic. Do our public schools need reform? Obviously. If you care about the educational attainment of all Americans, then don’t spend your money on a private school; spend your time, instead, engaged in making the public system better for your kids and everyone else’s.

  • Mike Chmiel

    Teach your kids to think critically and instill them with positive values. It is their only chance against advertising, peer pressure and every other horrible influence they will encounter the rest of their lives.