Junk Food Kids: Who's to Blame? - Netflix

With around a third of British children now being overweight or obese the show attempts to find out why are we in the grip of this epidemic, and what can be done about it.

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2015-02-18

Junk Food Kids: Who's to Blame? - Pester power - Netflix

“Pester Power” or “The Nag Factor”, as the phenomenon is known in US literature, is the “tendency of children, who are bombarded with marketers’ messages, to unrelentingly request advertised items”. The phrase is used to describe the negative connotations of children's influence in their parents buying habits. Due to children's buying influence growing in line with average household income, some commentators now refer to the home as being a filiarchy due to the power that children may hold in the household's consumer choices. This makes pester power relevant for the modern household. Pester Power is commonly used by marketing companies to target the 4–6 years old category as they have limited disposable income of their own, and consequently do not have the means to buy goods themselves. The growth of the issue of Pester Power is directly related to the rise of child advertising. Mr Potato Head was the first children’s toy to be advertised on television, this aired in 1952, and paved the way for Pester Power as pitching to children was seen to be an innovative new idea. It is now a convention for children’s products to be directly marketed at children. Through Pester Power, children have assumed role of being the 'ultimate weapon' in influencing family spending because of the how they consistently nag their parents. As a result, children have been likened to being a “Trojan Horse” within the modern household for marketing companies. One key criticism of Pester Power is that it implies repeated nagging by the child. However, young children may not be eloquent enough to have any other feasible methods of persuasion, and consequently the notion that adverts are specifically designed to encourage young children to nag could be argued not to be the case.

Junk Food Kids: Who's to Blame? - Combating - Netflix

One method of stopping pester power is in the home. In studies where mothers have been interviewed about their methods for limiting the effectiveness of pester power, 36% said “limiting commercial exposure” was effective whilst another 35% said explaining why the children could have not have the product was their preferred method to reduce the nagging.< Other than parental controls of pester power the other obvious way is banning child advertisement. For instance, Sweden and Norway forbid all advertising to those under 12, in Greece advertising toys is illegal until 10pm. In Sweden a notable example was that the Pokémon cartoon series had to mute its saying “gotta catch em’ all.” As this was said to be stealth advertising and an attempt to influence children into pestering their parents to buy the playing cards for them. Stealth advertising is a threat as children who are younger than eight are unable to recognise whether there is an intent to sell a product. this presents problems when TV shows have their own lines of merchandise which are not explicitly advertised. Indeed in the UK the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) condemned an advert by Morrisons in 2011 which featured children being able to win a chance to Disneyland when their parents shopped at Morrisons. This later was stopped on the grounds that the advert showed children pestering their parents to take them to Morrisions and it was feared that the children could mimic these actions. In the UK no advert is permitted “to encourage [children] to ask their parents, guardians or other person to buy or enquire about a product or service for them” this is an example of UK legislation directly attempting to combat Pester Power.

Junk Food Kids: Who's to Blame? - References - Netflix