Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Commercialism Corner

Commercialism Corner: Your one-stop shop for quick summaries and links to all the latest news about the commercialization of childhood.

U.S. Pediatricians Decry Media's Portrayal of Sex – A new study published in Pediatrics shows that the messages media teach teens and children about sex are dangerous.  "’We want physicians to ask two media questions at every well-child visit: how much entertainment screen time per day does the child engage in, and is there a TV set or Internet connection in his or her bedroom,’ said Strasburger, professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. ‘That takes 20 seconds and may be more important than asking about childproofing or car seats or bicycle helmets.’”  The article shows that media are a powerful sex educator, and with children spending more time with media than in any other activity but sleeping, media needs to shape up.  The authors also recommend that advertisers stop using sex to sell products.

Baby Carrots Take on Junk Food with Hip Marketing Campaign – In a $25 million effort to win inclusion in millions of back-to-school lunches, the carrot industry launches an ad campaign to brand the orange, crunchy veggie as cool, taking a page out of junk food advertisers’ handbook with Cheetos-like packaging, phone apps, and “sexy” TV ads.

Parents Sue Facebook Over Ads And 'Like' Data – Parents file a suit against Facebook, claiming their children are being exploited for commercial purposes when they see that a friend has “Liked” an ad on Facebook.  With good reason, the parents ask that Facebook obtain parental consent before using minors’ “Like” data for marketing purposes.

Location-Based Shopping: Can Shopkick Keep Kids in the Mall? – The new application Shopkick (the one that allows marketers to follow customers around stores and into dressing rooms) takes a “decidedly brand friendly approach” and targets teen girls—the marketing platform’s “sweet spot.”

Spearmark Unveils New Rise & Shine Line – New Disney-branded “sleep-time routine trainer” for kids is a 24-hour programmable electronic device (which dubs as a nightlight) that aims “to teach youngsters about bedtime routines by copying the Disney characters.”

Strawberry Shortcake Supports Childhood Cancer Month – In advance of the new Strawberry Shortcake show, which will premiere next month on the new Hasbro/Discovery children’s TV network, The Hub, Strawberry Shortcake is promoting childhood cancer awareness month (and its own brand) by sponsoring Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money for cancer research mainly through lemonade sales, by encouraging people to host special Strawberry Shortcake Alex’s Lemonade Stands.

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