Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Commercialisation of Childhood

This long awaited report was finally published yesterday. Its key findings are as follows :

"The children's commercial market is already large, is continuing to grow and is becoming increasingly sophisticated in its activities, in particular through new media. This trend seems set to continue;

The children's market does not exist in isolation. Notwithstanding considerable social change in recent decades, parents continue to play the pivotal role in how children are affected by the market, although peers also have a considerable influence, especially as children grow into adolescence;

So far as the impact of the commercial world on children is concerned the evidence shows a complex picture from which it is not possible to draw simple conclusions about cause or effect. The evidence does not validate either the notion that commercialisation is creating a 'toxic childhood', nor the notion that children are highly sophisticated consumers able to navigate with ease through a benign market;

Children are also increasingly aware of commercial forces in public places and in schools, and there is significant commercial activity going on within schools."

I can't be alone in feeling deeply disappointed. We owe it to our children to offer them protection from the increasingly sophisticated techniques advertisers use on them to increase their profits. Children are not fair game and they should be left alone with their childhood.

I will be reading the full report and will post later on it