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.
• There are now more than 52 million kids under the age of 12 in the United States, representing a very powerful and lucrative demographic for marketers.
• Children now spend $40 billion dollars of their own money and influence an other $700 billion in spending annually– roughly the equivalent of the combined economies of the world’s 115 poorest countries.
• Corporate marketers have studied the shopping behavior of kids, including the so-called “nag factor,” to help maximize the number of times children ask their parents for a product.
• Children are now marketed to in unprecedented ways – through brand licensing, product placement, viral marketing, via schools, DVDs, video games, the internet, cell phones – so that there’s a brand in front of a child’s face virtually every moment of every day.
Discussion Guide for ‘Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood’