Interview: Alex Bogusky and Susan Linn on Mad Men and our Children

 This video is an hour long, but once you hit play, you’ll be hooked.

Alex Bogusky, the interviewer, is a former top gun advertiser who recently decided that advertising to children is wrong. In an essay on his blog, he called on all advertisers to just stop targeting children. Now he makes videos like this.

Here he has a conversation with Susan Linn, a Harvard psychologist and author of  “The Case for Make Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World,” and “Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood.” She is the director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

Among other things, they talk about the “creepy” ways advertisers use scientific research to figure out how better to play upon the vulnerabilities of children.

In one interesting exchange, Mr. Bogusky asks Susan Linn about the concept that young children need to be exposed to advertising so that they will learn to be more “media savvy.”

Ms. Linn explains that there is research finding that the more children are immersed in advertising, the more vulnerable they are to it. Also, she notes, even if we ban advertising that targets children, they would still be exposed, just not exposed to the kind of marketing that is “directly targeted at their vulnerabilities.”

Later Mr. Bogusky wraps it up with this analogy:
“Well, if kids need to learn to fend for themselves, why don’t we speed through school zones? Maybe the speed limit in school zones should be higher, so then they would get good at being safe around traffic. If you think advertising should be unregulated, let’s unregulate traffic around our children… so they get savvy around traffic.”

“Most people would think that’s a bad idea,” he concludes.

The link to the show at Fearless Q&A

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