Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A consumer from the cradle on - SRR #112

We all know it. Marketing begins to focus at the younger in order to shape us into consumerism. When you have a hard time figuring out how commercials can address babies less than a year old, listen to Shrinkrapradio #112 The Commercialization of Childhood, in order to get an explanation. Just take it that this is so, and effective at that. Psychology, in no small measure allows for the efficacy of marketing. Dr. Allen D. Kanner stands up to point there is a limit to that. At least leave the children alone, is his message.

He directs his arrows also at globalization and there I would like to point out, the removal of market barriers can be in many ways truly beneficial for people, welfare and for democracy, but he certainly has a point: the main profiteers of the rapid commercialization of the world is big business and it will subject the whole of the world's children to consumerism. Not much in the podcast promises any kind of solution or even some solace, but Dr. Dave's interview with Allen Kanner, certainly gets the picture painted bright and clear.

Maybe marketing has an intrinsic fault. The major value lies with pushing the product. The interests of the consumer to whom the product is pushed is only subjected to the major goal. Marketing allows for pushing the consumer to what is rationally not in his own interest. The shield for business is the old adagium caveat emptor, the buyer should be aware. The consumer should be minding his own interests and it is implicitly supposed he is well capable of that. Kids obviously are not. None of us probably are, considering marketeers have whole body of psychological technology at their disposal. Kanner is right to call for ethical restrains.