Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Is It OK for Companies to Target Kids at the Library?

Consumer advocacy blog Consumerist.com recently ran a story about Wells Fargo blatantly marketing to young children at the public library. At least one parent wasn't happy about it: "Wells Fargo representatives showed up to give all the children [attending storytime] stuffed horses wearing their logo blankets. I absolutely do not think this is appropriate at all," said "E."

Don Pearson, region president of Wells Fargo Oregon, poses with stuffed ponies the banking giant "generously" donates to schools...and public libraries.
image source: http://www.flashalert.net

I don't think it's appropriate either. I find the increasingly ubiquitous practice of corporations targeting young children - whether through television, at school, or at the public library - highly unethical. Small children are so trusting, so blissfully unaware of the money-driven motivations of big businesses that it's unfair and just plain wrong to use them to get to their parents (or, more accurately, their parents' wallets). You would think that at the library, kids would be protected from such unscrupulous practices, but apparently not.

Consumerist.com * January 19, 2012

Should Companies Advertise to Kids at the Library?

By Laura Northrop

image: wells fargo

Who doesn't like stuffed animals? Free stuffed animals, even! E. isn't happy, though. At storytime at her local public library, people representing Wells Fargo brought stuffed ponies with the Wells Fargo logo to distribute to the children, and donated a large pony to decorate the children's section.

At storytime last week, Wells Fargo representatives showed up to give all the children stuffed horses wearing their logo blankets. Additionally, they donated a giant horse wearing the blanket which now sits atop a bookshelf right in the middle of the children's section. I absolutely do not think this is at all appropriate.

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