Advertisement, reading and the great childhood travesty of our time


I watched a documentary today, it assessed the danger of exposing our children to constant advertisement and how it can stymie their creativity from an early age.

The aim of such advertisement is to create a loyal customer for life. To claim a human being as their own for life. ‘From cradle to grave’ you are owned by the maker and distributer of that advert.

The documentary was depressing and ruined my outlook for an entire day.

But the message was clear, poignant and true.

Our children are no longer allowed to make-do, to imagine that a stick is Harry Potter’s wand, we have to buy the plastic, noise making and light flashing ‘real thing’.

Since the great de-regulation of children’s advertising, introduced by Reagan and his corporate cronies, American children in particular have been subject to constant immersion in consumerism.

Because the children saw what they wanted on television, they started nagging their parents, and so increased the children’s spending power, and so increased the value of that market.

Now children had 50 pounds to spend, not pennies.

Whereas adults are aware of advertising techniques, and their persuasive nature, children often mistake bragging for truth and wholeheartedly believe that the advert is the truth.

Of course this problem is not confined to the US, in Britain we have a similar problem, as does everyone, if less severe.

Information is now served up on a plate to our children, through the medium of screens. No imagination is required, one merely needs to sit and absorb.

No wonder that our children can’t concentrate in school or even enough to read a good book, there aren’t sharp colours that move very quickly, and real life can’t possibly be as interesting as the world that exists within the screen.






2 thoughts on “Advertisement, reading and the great childhood travesty of our time

  1. David Hunter February 7, 2013 / 9:16 pm

    Interesting that yourself, almost never had a toy. We bought you lots of toys but you never played with them. You much preferred a stick – which in your own imagination was a sword- a pike – a musket or a machine gun
    There must be lots of kids out there, like you, apparently immune to consumer persuasion????

  2. mhasegawa February 11, 2013 / 12:11 pm

    My husband and I were just talking about the games we played as kids that required no equipment – like Simon Says, Mother May I, tag, hide and seek etc. Our grandchildren do not have a television. They have bikes, books, musical instuments, and horses and lots of imagination. While the older two are computer literate, their computer time is limited by having to share a computer. So it is possible to avoid advertising pressures.


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