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  • Children watch about 25 hours of television per week. About one quarter of that time is filled with advertisements.
  • Children growing up in the 1970s saw about 20,000 TV commercials per year.
  • Children growing up in the 1980s saw about 30,000 TV commercials per year.
  • Children growing up in the 1990s saw about 40,000 TV commercials per year.
  • Corporations spend $188 billion each year on advertising targeting families.
  • More than 80 per cent of child advertising focuses on toys, cereal, candy and fast food.
  • The most common theme of child advertising is making the product fun and happy.
  • Most children, particularly those under the age of five, are unable to tell the difference between a program and a commercial.

Korporate Kids


Any child will adapt better in an environment sensitive to his/her cultural needs. Children's culture is made up of games, riddles, jeers, curses, ditties, oaths, pranks, tricks, songs and pacts.  What children play, create, build, say, sing, and chant is  children's culture.  Children’s play is not only about how children

"Play is the mode through which children develop their identity and sense
of self."

create their culture, it is about how they learn.  Play is the mode through which children develop their identity and form a sense of self. Children do not distinguish work from play. Play should be left to children with adults fostering an environment favorable to authentic play and at times joining in at the child's level. 


The consumer culture, delivered through the media, is one produced for and imposed upon children, overriding many other cultural influences, including those shaped by parents and schools. Changes in children's play are being shaped by toy production companies resulting in the uniformity or “mass-marketing of play”.  Even within the school system, marketing practices aimed at children have infiltrated and invaded the classroom in the form of advertisements, free or discounted products, with brand identification, direct sales of products and fund-raising activities.


Today's North American children experience their childhood as a function of two forces -- its usefulness in producing a “successful”, productive future measured by monetary gain or ownership and as a means of grooming the child to be a consumer.  The first of these forces, producing a successful future, is not new, and in some areas of the world, has always been given precedence over childhood culture.  What is new

"All of the teachers expressed conster-nation over a reduction in children's abilities to learn basic academic skills..."

is the degree to which this has been adopted in North America.  The second force, the control of children's minds by corporations, is a global and cross-cultural phenomenon.  It also tends to deter the creation of children's culture by children.  


A research study, conducted in 2002, analyzed the ways in which teachers perceive the negative effects of consumerism on children.  All of the teachers expressed consternation over a reduction in children's abilities to learn basic academic skills, particularly in the ability to work with instruction or to be taught. They attributed this in part to the numbers of hours spent in front of the television and/or computer, along with children’s high exposure to advertising. As well, basic social skills, such as regard for others (including peers and teachers), politeness, manners and a capacity to get along in group situations were considered by all of the teachers to be in decline among students.


Teachers consistently emphasized both verbal and physical aggression among boys and girls is on the rise as a result of consumerism.  


Each teacher also clearly stated the forces of consumerism have molded children to play as corporations dictate, depending on the latest marketing campaign. They advertise in a way to children that captures their physical senses, the excitement and the need to have it.


These teachers adamantly implicated consumerism's many adverse effects on children's development, including a shortened childhood, hyper-competitiveness, a reduction in family time, an increase in obesity, isolation, stress, distorting play, an increase in materialism and loss of identity.