Children and consumerism.


According to Schor and Henderson (2008), children can be viewed through different paradigms. On one hand, children can be viewed as the innocent, naïve, and vulnerable targets of well-informed marketers who have to be protected by legislation in order to save them from negative messages channeled through the mass media. Proponents of this view oppose all marketing messages that target children and support their physical and emotional regulation in the hands of adults. A different paradigm, that of the ‘empowered child’, supports the notion that children have authentic interpretations of what they want that should not be affected by adult interpretations (Scor and Henderson, 2008). Proponents of this paradigm, most of whom are marketers, contend that children today are far more developed than those of past eras in that they can easily identify lies in advertising messages. According to Pine and Nash (2003), children can easily identify advertisement breaks in their toddler years through symbols such as sound effects or logos, which they link with the product. Moreover, they may not be able to differentiate between how they feel about the product being advertised and their attitude towards the product. The interpretation that the advertisement is actually trying to sell them a product may come in the pre-teen years of 11 or 12 years.

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While both researches have documented statistics on studies conducted into child advertising, their respondents do not represent all the nations that are affected by marketing content that targets children. Both of the researches documented by Pine and Nash (2003) and Schor and Henderson (2008) feature participants who come from nations such as Australia, America, Britain, and Scandinavian nations.

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