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Consuming Kids: Protecting Our Children from the Onslaught of Marketing & Advertisingby Susan Linn
Synopses & Reviews
The average American child sees about 40,000 television commercials every year. Companies target younger viewers all the time, selling everything from sugar cereals to minivans, and cross-promotional marketing influences everything from the food stocked in school vending machines to the characters who appear in childrens books. Kids are requesting specific brands as soon as they can talk. American corporations spend over $15 billion yearly on marketing to children in an effort to cultivate nagging, insatiable, “cradle-to-grave” consumers.
In this shocking and engrossing exposé, psychologist Susan Linn reveals how the marketing industry preys on kids from the day theyre born, exploiting their vulnerabilities and skewing their values in order to influence what they eat, wear, and play with. This advertising blitz stifles creativity and exacerbates obesity, eating disorders, violence, sexual precocity, and substance abuse. Linn—a mother herself—recognizes that parents alone are no match for the marketing experts. What they need is the concerted help of healthcare professionals, educators, and legislators who have childrens best interests in mind. Consuming Kids is a call to action for anyone who cares about the well-being of children.
About the Author
Susan Linn is Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Associate Director of the Media Center at Judge Baker Childrens Center in Boston. An award-winning producer and ventriloquist, she is internationally known for her pioneering work using puppets as therapeutic tools with children and is co-founder of the coalition Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with her husband and daughter.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Penelope Leach
Introduction: The Marketing Maelstrom
1. Notes from the Underground: Thirty-Six Hours at a Marketing Conference
2. A Consumer in the Family: The Nag Factor and Other Nightmares
3. Branded Babies: From Cradle to Consumer
4. Endangered Species: Play and Creativity
5. Students for Sale: Who Profits from Marketing in Schools?
6. Through Thick and Thin: The Weighty Problem of Food Marketing
7. Peace-Keeping Battle Stations and Smackdown!: Selling Kids on Violence
8. From Barbie and Ken to Britney, the Bratz, and Beyond: Sex As Commodity
9. Marketing, Media, and the First Amendment: Whats Best for Children?
10. Joe Camel Is Dead, but Whassup with Those Budweiser Frogs?: Hooking Kids on Alcohol and Tobacco
11. If Values Are Right, Whats Left?: Life Lessons from Marketing
12. Ending the Marketing Maelstrom: Youre Not Alone
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