Your cover story (MW November 7), has left me asking more questions than were answered. So Media Smart is gathering some big brands, persuading them to join forces to tell children how to interpret their advertising?
As someone who works extensively on both children’s and adult promotions, I see it as my duty to be responsible and ethical, whoever the target market. Let’s face it, even some adult consumers find it hard to distinguish the brand messages made by advertisers. Obviously Media Smart is still at an early stage and I look forward to learning the finer details once everything is finalised. However, a key point to bear in mind is that such a consortium needs to be clear, relevant and truthful – rather than trying to equip everyone involved with an internal bullshit detector!
Another key question is: where do the parents figure in all this? It is an essential part of a parent’s role to educate children in matters of money, choices and their own self-esteem – rather than handing over their moral responsibility to corporate babysitters (the hand that rocks the cash register?).
If big brands really care about children, we need to see them doing something truly radical and looking at what they’re pushing to children and how – rather than setting up a “feelgood” organisation which may help them to sleep easier at night, but to the rest of us may be a misplaced nightmare.
Business development director