Children have long been targets for advertisers, but beginning in the mid-1980s they became subject to an escalation of corporate marketing. This is when the Federal Communications Commission deregulated children’s television, and by act of Congress, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lost its ability to regulate most marketing to children. Now, on most issues the FTC can only make recommendations about how products are marketed and not marketed to children; it cannot regulate unless issues of actual bodily harm can be shown to be involved. Changes in government policy occurred with very little public discussion or debate, as discussed by Juliet Schor in Born to Buy.

Beyond the ads children see, even more marketing goes into linking the logos from popular children’s media to specific ...

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