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Erm… — 2 Comments

  1. I’m sitting at Centre Parcs right now and we have CBBC on the television, mainly as background noise here too. Four hours of programmes and not a single one has been trying to sell anything. We’ve watched Horrible Histories, Sean the Sheep, a drama about Leonardo da Vinci called Leonardo, Tracy Beaker and Blue Peter. Whilst these are all older children things (amusing Poki’s 12 year old, who’s simultaneously doing Sudoku and a jigsaw puzzle, so not fixed on the goggle box), you might want to check out CBeebies, which is programming that the BBC do for that age group. Merchandising is certainly available for some of it, but it doesn’t PUSH the merchandise and there’s no paid advertising at all on the channel. They’re quite careful to commission programmes which actually offer something useful for children, be it moving around, as in Boogie Beebies, or learning about gardening with the Eco Beebies. Whilst I TOTALLY take your point about not babysitting with the television, there is good stuff available for little ones, that won’t stop her being her vibrant self and could actually enhance her experiences.

    And actually, our childhood wasn’t free of advertising and merchandising either. Going right the way back to the 60s, you could get Thunderbirds models, moving forward, I remember the Wombles having merchandise in the shops, He-Man action figurines, the abominable Care Bears and I was completely in love with my RideOn Dougal from Magic Roundabout when I was only a little older than your little one. So much so that he had to be prised from me when his foam wore out and the dangerous frame was exposed and I didn’t speak to my father for weeks after he went on the bonfire. I was around 10 at the time <.< But equally, I've already indicated that I was equally fond of my homemade truck, rocking horse and building blocks, so I don't think that I was unduly affected by advertising at that age.

    I totally agree about the logo thing, it confuses me too – do people not realise that the 'trendsetters' are actually paid by sponsorship to wear such things, rather than being relieved of excessive amounts of money to display the same? I tolerate a small amount on sportswear, because it's pretty difficult to actually get good sportswear that doesn't have a logo somewhere on it. Otherwise, I'm not sure that I have any clothing with branding on the outside.

    • CBBCs turned me off with their advertisement showing ‘cooperation’ as ‘fooling/distracting your parents to get away with shit’ – not.freaking.cool! Though I do intend to vet the shows at some point in the future, if only if to see if there’s something that is entertaining without being condescending – I also take issue with so-called ‘educational’ shows, if only for all the people in my acquaintanceship who are shoving their under-3s in front of such instead of… oh… reading with their kid.

      And yeah, I realized some of the shows I liked as a kid were nothing but advertisements… years after they were relevant. Thinking back recently, I think I can count on one hand the number of times I got taken into toy shops as a kid, so that would probably also explain why I didn’t get toyed to death, per se. Heck, the last time I remember going into a toy store, it was to buy a video game with my hard-earned money… only to find someone had stolen it//had fallen out of my pocket//etc.

      And on the last point… yup. *chuckles* Nothing wrong with enjoying a quality product, and in things such as that, you want something quality!

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