As someone who has worked in the marketing/media industry for many years, I have a soft spot for outside of the box marketing ideas. As a mother, however, I draw the line when it comes to what products marketed to kids!
When it comes to tv advertising, the FCC has taken quite a few steps that show that they care and it’s very much appreciated. (For example, it’s a violation to show a commercial for like a Dora toy while Dora’s show is on). Who is monitoring the products now?
I checked out a few articles the other day with the most ridiculous items marketed to kids – from a pole dance doll to pee and poo plush toys – and it makes me wonder who is crazier – the people who produce them or the people who buy them?
The first culprit, hands down, is the clothing industry. Just in the past few years, we have had the infamous push up bras for 7 year olds, kids shirts with nipple tassels, and of course, a bunch “what the heck were they thinking” onesies! I found this onesie in Miami a few months ago, and I prayed there weren’t any drunk dads on vacation tempted to bring this one home as a keepsake:
The only other clothing piece I’ve come across that made me say WTH was one of the t-shirts given out as a promo item at a Smurfs screening that said “Who’s your Papa?”. Really? Was that the best they could come up with at a kids movie? Really???
Next up, let’s talk about some of these dolls out there. I mentioned the pole dancing doll earlier. Ok, so some might argue that pole dancing is a “sport,” but do you give your daughter in pole lessons instead of oh, I don’t know, softball or soccer?
Leila got this adorable little cheerleader doll for her last birthday and when you touch it, it says different cheers. Sounds fine right? But one of the cheers goes like this:
(Yes, as in Wrecks-n-effect , Wiggle It). Not quite a reference I would want to introduce to my kid. Luckily, the head came off of the doll and we were able to get rid of it before she caught on, but still.
Here’s what I have to say about all of this: My daughter likes to imitate me sometimes. She puts on my clothes and shoes…She pretends to cook dinner…She sneaks into my makeup bag…but there is no doubt that she is a child! Here’s my plea to these Marketers: let our kids just be kids! There will be plenty of time to promote agendas and innuendo. It does not have to start from birth!
I could go on and on, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.