Direct to kid advertising

How upset do you get when you see drug ads which say, "Ask your doctor about..." This just burns me up sometimes! I see both sides of this in that patients come in and ask me about their medical conditions. But on the other hand, they sometimes demand to be placed on what they saw on television.

In the marketing world, they call this "direct to consumer" advertising. This has definitely transformed the sales of prescription medications. OTC manufactures have also followed suit. (What's that product you apply directly to the forehead? AHHH!)

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently published a report stating that children and adolescents are constantly exposed to advertising on television, and even in schools. If adults can be lulled into these ads, think of the effect on children.

"Advertisers have slowly but steadily infiltrated school systems around the country," the [AAP] committee [on communication] writes. "The '3Rs' have now become the '4Rs,' with the fourth R being 'retail.' Ads are now appearing on school buses, in gymnasiums, on book covers, and even in bathroom stalls," notes the AAP.
I defninitely agree with this. In doing more research on this, I found an article from the Palm Beach Post talking about marketing to kids for toys and video games.
Nine times. That's the average number of requests a kid has to make before Mom and Dad cave and buy a toy, according to a national survey commissioned by the Center for a New American Dream, a Maryland-based consumer group.

That's if Mom and Dad are lucky. One of every 10 kids ages 12 to 13 cheerfully reported he asks his folks more than 50 times for something he really, really, really wants.

Then, there's this article from USA Today talking with James McNeal who wrote a book about direct marketing to kids.
Last year, marketers spent $1.4 billion per month marketing to children — 15% more than the year before, McNeal says. "I call it 'surround selling.' "

Mattel Brands President Neil Friedman says Mattel will spend half its ad budget — estimated at $460 million by Advertising Age — in the fourth quarter.

The American society makes such a big deal of people like drug dealers and predator teachers preying on innocent children. In my opinion, there is another group who should be included in this outrage.

Frankly, advertising, as an industry, should be ashamed of itself. To target those in our society who are most vulnerable to slick marketing techniques is deplorable. Parents are put in the precarious position of trying to de-program their kids from the daily onslaught of these brainwashing messages. They're using your kids to help their bottom line. What do you think about that? Happy Holidays....