A report into the commercialisation of childhood
Section1 Target market: childhood
Section 2 Smart cookies: recruiting young brand ambassadors
Section 3 The impact of commercialisation on children
Section 4 The bottom line: sex sells
Section 5 Current regulations
Section 6 Unsubscribing: bye bye commercialisation
Mothers’ Union is a worldwide organisation that works to support family life through its grassroots membership. We believe in the value of the family, in its many forms, as a source of love and support for individuals and the basis for a caring community. Our members care passionately about the commercialisation of childhood. Without wishing to sentimentalise childhood, our members want children to be free from the commercial pressures that promote materialism, affect wellbeing and add to stress in family life.
Whilst we are concerned about the impact of the commercial world on childhood we know that not only children are influenced – adults can also be susceptible. Without awareness of and alertness to how and why the commercial world is selling to us, we are at risk of allowing ourselves to be over-influenced. However, children and adults do not have to be passive recipients of commercial messages. We can choose what to accept and what to filter out. In this way, the commercialisation of childhood is the responsibility of all.
Mothers’ Union has compiled this report based on our research, that was carried out by ComRes, into the opinions and experiences of 1000 parents; a review of existing research and literature on the commercialisation of childhood, and on the thoughts and experiences of over 1000 Mothers’ Union members. From this we have launched our Bye Buy Childhood campaign to raise awareness of the issue and push for change.
Rosemary Kempsell Worldwide President
Reg Bailey Chief Executive