Saturday 4 May 2013
Susan Gregory Thomas, Buy, Buy Baby
I'll never tire of reading about evils of marketing. I hate the advertising business passionately, mainly because only politicians can equal its champions when it comes to the amount of bullshit let loose upon the world.
Digesting Buy, Buy Baby by Susan Gregory Thomas should be mandatory for all parents. If I were a dictator, every expecting mother would be given a copy early on, with her progress in reading supervised during medical check-ups. Parents simply need to know this stuff!
Statistics concerning advertising to babies and toddlers are scary. Kids are being popped in front of the TV almost from infancy, despite warnings (e.g. from the American Academy of Pediatrics) that below the age of two they should not watch it AT ALL. So called 'educational' programmes are generously laced with commercials tailored specifically to appeal to young minds. Cartoon characters become spokespersons for brands. The list goes on.
Were I to write Buy, Buy Baby, the book would be far more virulent. I am furious at all the business people trying to brainwash kids into becoming consumers before they can develop any defences, and probably wouldn't be able to contain my ire. Susan Gregory Thomas definitely beats me at anger management. She sounds rational and composed, no signs of mouth-frothing at all.
The book is a goldmine of information about child development research. If it has been done, it is probably mentioned here, together with details on the institution that carried it out. It's a precious resource, because too many baby products claim 'educational' status, when no actual study confirms it. Whatever works to trap the tired parent into parting with cash...
If you're wondering if Teletubbies are good for your baby, read this book. If you're curious if the new expensive blinking toy can actually teach your child anything, read this book. If you're tired of temper tantrums in the toy isle, read this book.
If you want to be a responsible parent - READ THIS BOOK.