Children turn their back on advertising

Children make their purchasing decisions on the basis of playground opinion and are cynical about advertising, according to two reports published this week.

The first report, SMRC’s ChildWise, has devised seven new categories of school child to demonstrate that word-of-mouth influences at school are just as significant as ads.

In a survey of 883 seven to 17-year-olds, SMRC claims that Toys `R’ Us is particularly popular among younger children, while HMV scores well among teenagers.

The most effective ads for boys’ products are Sega’s – with Nintendo and Lego close behind. Significantly, Lego’s ads are less enjoyable than Nintendo’s but encourage a greater desire to purchase.

Among girls, Puppy In Your Pocket and Disney toys were particularly popular.

Meanwhile, Handel Communications’ The New Generation, which canvassed the views of 900 seven to 12-year-olds, claims children can see through ads and promotions.

One key finding shows that they seek instant gratification from promotions – hugely favouring free gifts and instant win promotions.

Handel director Karen Daniel says: “Children want to be treated like adults. You’re on a hiding to nothing if you treat them like the Famous Five.”

The survey identifies favourite snack brands as Walkers crisps, Hula Hoops, Mars Bars and Opal Fruits.

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