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  • Corporate crime costs the U.S. economy $44 billion per year.
  • Corporations spend about $15 billion each year on advertising targeting children.
  • "Comparing the marketing of today with yesteryear is like comparing a BB gun to a smart bomb. Modern marketing is enhanced by technology, focused by child psychologists and fuelled by billions of dollars." (Susan Linn, Author of Consuming Kids)
  • The most common technique used in children's advertising is emotional manipulation.
  • Children under eight cannot completely understand the concept of persuasive intent.
Comparing the marketing of today with the marketing of yesteryear is like comparing a BB gun to a smart bomb. It’s enhanced by technology, honed by child psychologists and brought to us by billions of dollars.

Consumer Culture


Advertising and marketing directed at children is out of control.


The continued exploitation of children is delivered through an ever-expanding network of digital media,

"The mass media have sold a concept-ion of reality and its own definition of the Good Life..."

television, Internet, movies, magazines, computers and billboards. It will become impossible to resist for young developing minds that will not learn how to think or question -- just consume. 


The use of propaganda as a means of  “controlling the masses” has been flourishing in North America. Consumer culture has imposed its own domination of reality and its own definition of the “Good Life.” The mass media have sold a conception of reality which defines the “Good Life”  as that which a human being is potentially capable of achieving. In fact, it's all that we hear, say and think. Observation alone shows they have been extremely successful.  


Empowerment, an individual’s right to assert needs and perspective, contrasts strongly with corporate power, so often employed to dominate and control. Consumer culture justifies the nurturing of children as consumers as a natural extension of the child's innate being.  Just as natural resources are up for grabs by any corporation powerful enough to take them, so children have become a commodity for investors to access and exploit.  The economic world of the consumer child illustrates how children have become valued only for their consumption capacity. While it is not a new phenomenon for children to be illegally exploited for economic purposes (prostitution, pornography and child industrial labor), what is new is a legal exploitation under the guise of individual and societal advancement.


In order to promote consumption, individuals must be convinced that they are all subject to material needs, the end goal of advertising. When examining issues concerning children, freedom is, oddly enough, a word that is rarely associated with the rights of the child. The manipulation of children's needs has either been ignored or considered invalid within the context of mainstream culture. Children learn to believe the material objects advertised on television will enhance their happiness.


The lifestyle and behaviors children exhibit are in part, reflective of the type of advertising they are exposed to. Although difficult to ascertain conclusively, it appears North American children show few signs of contentment. In the case of children, how can a two year-old reason about his/her needs and wants?  Corporate advertising has assumed a rational form of thought for children.