Bye Buy Childhood
Do you think children should be allowed to be children and not seen simply as mini consumers?
Research carried out by Mothers’ Union has revealed that childhood has become a marketing opportunity worth £99 billion in the UK and £350 million is spent in the UK each year on persuading children to consume.
Manipulative techniques exploit children’s natural credulity and use them as a conduit to the household purse and the materialism this encourages has negative effects on children’s physical health, mental and emotional wellbeing, on their values, educational development and relationships with families and peers.
The use of sexualised content to sell to children and the imposition of sexuality on children to market goods is particularly abhorrent.
Mothers’ Union has launched a campaign to address this issue.
How can we challenge the commercialisation of childhood?
And how can you make a difference?
We think there are three steps:
First, whether you are a child, young person or adult, analyse your consumer habits.
Use this Bye Buy Test when shopping – in a shop or online – to help you think about what or who is influencing your choices:
Why do I want to buy it?
How often will I use it?
Can I afford it?
What will happen if I don’t buy it?
Second, challenge retailers and advertisers who sell or advertise inappropriately to children.
When shopping, if you see an item aimed at children that you believe is inappropriate for their age, raise your concern with the shop manager or company head office.
If you are concerned about the appropriateness of an advert aimed at children, contact the Advertising Standards Authority with your concern. http://www.asa.org.uk
Thirdly, you can contact your political representative
Many MPs and local councillors are concerned about the commercialisation of childhood. Why not contact yours and ask them to address the issue?
For further information about the Bye Buy Childhood campaign please go to http://www.byebuychildhood.org
Mothers’ Union has produced pledge cards for industry and political representatives. You can obtain these by contacting us:
In Beds & Herts: Mothers’ Union Office, 41 Holywell Hill, St. Albans, Herts AL1 1HD (T) 01727 858979 (with answerphone)