Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Consuming Kids

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Consuming Kids

The Hostile Takeover of Childhood

by Susan Linn

Consuming Kids by Susan Linn X
Consuming Kids by Susan Linn
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  • First Published:
    May 2004, 256 pages

    Paperback:
    Aug 2005, 304 pages

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Is government regulation such a tall order?  I don't think so. Firstly it's only in the past couple of decades that companies in the USA have been given such free reign to market to children in the USA - before this there were far tighter controls.  Secondly, other countries manage it, so why not the USA?  For example, Sweden, Norway and Finland ban marketing to children under 12, Greece prohibits ads for toys between 7am and 10pm, New Zealand bans junk-food marketing to children, and the province of Quebec in Canada bans all advertising to children under age 13. 

Obviously parents have a role to play in controlling their children's exposure to advertising - but putting the entire onus on parents is equivalent to expecting a children's sandcastle to stand up to the inevitability of the waves.  Some of us are better equipped than others to build strong fortresses to protect our children - but none of us can keep the tide out entirely. 

Consuming Kids ends with a very comprehensive appendix detailing the large number of groups working to limit consumerism to children, including the group that Linn helped found - The Coalition to 'Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children' - www.commmercialexploitation.org.

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This article relates to Consuming Kids. It first ran in the August 3, 2005 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

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Censorship, like charity, should begin at home: but unlike charity, it should end there.

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