Brand Materialism Breeds Conflict at Home

Under a section titled, “Anti-parent alliance,” (p. 218) in their book Consumer Kids, Ed Mayo and Agnes Nairn write:

Advertisers present a wonderful brand world which is parent-free.

And based on their research, they later they go on to write that,

…the more materialistic children think their parents are uncool, boring and no fun to be around. And when kids think less of their parents, they think less of themselves, too: the children with a low opinion of their parents also had the lowest self-esteem. So, material culture delivers a double whammy: it’s not only linked with children’s own unhappiness but it implicates the happiness of the whole family.

They go on to link the branded media message with several forms of mental illness in children and even youth suicide (which is now the second-most common cause of death in UK males aged 15 to 34).

Clearly, advertisers, marketers, and commercial media producers who target children need to start examining the moral and social implications of their craft.

One thought on “Brand Materialism Breeds Conflict at Home

  1. It also creates conflict between the child and the parent, which causes the child to rebel against the parent and purchase the items at ANY price.

    While the suicide rates are shocking in youth, I’m curious how exactly Mayo and Nairn directly link these two things. Just because they are correlated doesn’t necessarily mean one is causing the other. I suppose I’ll have to read the book.

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