Buy, Buy Baby: How Big Business Captures the Ultimate Consumer - Your Baby or Toddler

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9780007259052: Buy, Buy Baby: How Big Business Captures the Ultimate Consumer - Your Baby or Toddler

In the tradition of No Logo and Fast Food Nation, Buy Buy Baby investigates how today’s consumer economy markets to infants and toddlers.

Buy Buy Baby is a powerful expose of how multi-national toy and media corporations use aggressive marketing techniques to snare the ultimate consumer – your baby or toddler.

While it’s no secret that toy and media companies manipulate the insecurities of parents to sell them products, Buy Buy Baby reveals how these corporations sponsor and use the latest research in child development to sell directly to the 0-3 age group.

Following scientific research in the late 1990s that showed that babies develop and make more significant connections between the ages of 0-3 than at any other point in their lives, an explosion of products aimed specifically at this group came onto the market. Under the guise of having 'educational benefit', we have witnessed the rise of everything from the Teletubbies to Barney, all feeding into the anxiety of parents keen to raise 'smart' kids. More sinisterly however, has been the rise in awareness of this age-group of brands, the top names including Cheerios, Disney, Pop-tarts, McDonalds, Coke and Barbie.

As a parent and as a business journalist, author Susan Gregory Thomas, former senior editor at US News & World Report who has written for Time and Glamour amongst others; is uniquely qualified to write on this subject. She reveals the growing evidence that some of the products aimed at young children have little or no 'educational benefit' and that these toys could even impair early development.

Moreover she examines the huge negative impact of selling products to such young children and argues that kids are now experiencing the anxiety, hyper-competitiveness and depression usually found in adults and caused by the effects of rampant consumerism.

Buy Buy Baby is an important contribution highlighting a burning contemporary issue.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Susan Gregory Thomas is an investigative journalist and broadcaster. A former senior editor at US News & World Report, she has written for Time and Glamour amongst others. She has two young children aged five and three years old.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

From Buy, Buy Baby What might be called the baby genius
phenomenon--the widely held notion that infants and toddlers can be made
smarter via exposure to the right products and TV programs--has spread
throughout the toy industry. Today, to be competitive in the baby and
toddler business, a toymaker must make toys that encourage "learning," or
at least claim that they do. The fastest-growing segment of the $3.2
billion infant and preschool toy business is represented by "educational"
products, those that are advertised to stimulate babies' and toddlers'
cognitive abilities. Indeed, the demand for such playthings has completely
transformed the toy industry. It has helped catapult dot-com era start-ups
such as LeapFrog into the major leagues. It has also drastically shifted
the business strategies of long-time players such as Mattel's Fisher-Price
and Hasbro's PlaySkool, as they try to compete in a market driven by
so-called educational value as defined by wholesale buyers who employ no
educational guidelines in their decisions, but who are governed only by how
they believe customers will respond to packaging claims. It is now standard
practice for anyone marketing to very young children and their families to
make certain that his product--and brand--wears what is called an
educational halo. As one kids' marketing executive affirmed, if your
company can establish a halo, "you can pretty much get away with anything.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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