Commercialization

 

Over the past 25 years marketing to children has become deregulated and children are highly targeted by firms merchandising food, toys, clothing, entertainment and more. While it was once thought unethical to market directly to children, there is little regard for this consideration today. Approximately $17 billion is spent each year marketing goods to children, a huge increase from the $100 million spent in 1983.  For manufacturers this is an investment toward harvesting the money children spend directly ($200 billion per year for children under 19) or the money their families spend and which children influence ($500 billion per year for children under 12). Once marketing consisted primarily of television ads aimed at children, but today it takes dozens of forms so that children are continually bombarded by marketing ploys in their homes, neighborhoods and schools. The Alliance is deeply concerned about the impact of marketing on children and their families and participates in a coalition, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.