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.
This article is from the August 3, 2005 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.
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