Quick Hitter: Advertising & Children

There was a new segment on the nightly news tonight that grabbed my attention, even though it told me things I already knew.  The same information can be read here, but this tells you all you need to know (from the article):

Food and beverage companies spent $1.6 billion in 2006 on advertising aimed at children, a study released Tuesday by the Federal Trade Commission found, often combining ploys from TV to toys to the Internet to push kids to plead “Please Mom, buy me that! Please! Please!”

Here are the two things I already knew: 1)that advertisers spend that much targeting our children and 2)it works. How you ask? I have two children. We hear from them all the time about the things they see and want.  Of course, we should we remember that we are the parents and the “buck” should stop with us.

One more thing:  I got tired of hearing our children constantly saying “I want that” after seeing a commercial for a new toy or gadget geared towards kids (blendy pens, moon sand, etc…).  So, we made a rule…the kids cannot say “I want that”; they have to say “I like that”.  We still hear that a lot, but you wouldn’t believe how different it sounds.  It also means that we aren’t constantly saying “sorry, you can’t have that” or words to that effect.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Adam, that’s a great parenting tip. Thanks!

    Cullen doesn’t really understand the concept of TV (though he stops what he’s doing and watches if it’s on…uh-oh). So right now when Cullen sees something he likes, it’s in 3D and he already owns it. And he says “ba.”

    I guess we’ve got it good for now. (And so does he for that matter!)


  2. Posted by Johanna on July 30, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    I saw that same news clip on the news. It sounded like they were blaming all our problems, such as obesity, on advertising agencies. Not once in the clip did anyone stand up and say, hey it’s also our fault too. We have the power to say no to ourselves and our kids. The advertising agencies are just temptation…sound familiar? Maybe a certain man and woman who blamed their wrong choices on a certain serpent?


  3. Posted by Tag Tuck on August 1, 2008 at 3:25 am

    I’m going to take this opportunity to sound like a total right wing Pharisee…
    TV is evil and the benefits don’t come close to outweighing the cost.
    Now the internet…that’s another thing we ALL NEED the internet to survive…don’t we?

    I will say that in our home since we’ve never had cable, satellite, etc. our kids have only been exposed to videos that we’ve chosen. As a result they don’t really know what a commercial is (and my daughter is 5!).

    But we are avid YouTubers. We have introduced the kids to all our favorite old Sesame Street segments, Bugs Bunny cartoons, and clips of the Wiggles in 10 to 15 minute spurts via YouTube. We choose the programming, we have to watch it with them, and no commercials.

    Of course, we now have to put up with our son Ian constantly asking, “Daddy, Mommy…we do watch Wiggles ‘pyuter?” (Translation: Father, Mother, could we grateful children take advantage again of your benevolence and view those comic thespians of Australia on our computer?)


  4. Posted by adamtisdale on August 1, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    Yes, Jo, nothing new there for sure.

    Tag: I laughed out loud at your translation of Ian’s phrase. I am sure that is exactly what he is trying to convey. I won’t touch the whole TV thing here, besides something already out of the barn for us (I can’t remember the exact cliche).


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