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Born To Buy

Schor (2004) provides interviews with marketers and children, research studies conducted by her and others, and testimony from advertising professionals to support her claims. The tactics of marketers are often structured to posit 'instructive' value to products that will make parents more inclined to buy them for children, while children are inundated with techniques that equate to what Schor (2004, p. 62) labels the 'nag factor,' equipping children with the 'pester power' to cajole reluctant parents into purchasing the items they most desire. Such tactics are common and routinely used by predatory marketers, to the point where General Mills solicited the use of teachers' cars for painted advertisements of cereal by paying each teacher who agreed to the deal $250. While many predatory practices by marketers aimed directly at young children are common, not all advertisers feel what they are doing is ethical. Schor (2004, p. 187) talks to one marketing professional who admits that her career is going to be responsible for her 'burn[ing] in hell.'

Schor's work posits a cause-and-effect relationship between depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem in children due to the kinds of predatory marketing she critiques. Her main contention is that such a premeditated attack on child consciousness creates an army of robot-like consumers who associate self-worth only with what they own or buy. Marketers go so far as to hire boys and girls to promote their offerings to peers. For those children who cannot afford to own such items or whose tactics at nagging do not work on parents, an image of being a loser often manifests itself in their perception of themselves and they are often viewed by friends who can buy, buy, buy in a similar manner. While Schor views such tactics as tantamount to brainwashing, marketers and corporations often consider their tactics inspirational. By appealing to children and bypassing parents, manufacturers believ...

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Born To Buy. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:33, July 20, 2017, from
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