Promoting to kids: ad overload?


'Nothing in excess' (inscription on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi).

Children, innocents? Get real! Although there is no record of a tot's first words being 'I want', the phrase is not long in coming. Children are 'I want' savages from their postbirthing bawl for attention until (and if) a combination of good parenting and good education imposes on them a veneer of civilisation and consideration for the rest of humankind.

So let's not take too seriously the howls from the 'marketing corrupts the innocents' lobby. No, if the critics have any justifiable target at which to shoot it is not the exposure of children to advertising and incentive promotions but the excess of it. Like 'pester power', it is the persistence and volume that overwhelms. And corruption, if it exists, is that of judgment, not innocence.