The New Zealand Herald July 4 2013
Jesuit missionaries knew something about human nature when they said, in the 16th century: “Give me a child until he is 7 and I will give you the man.”
Five hundred years later, author Maggie Hamilton argues, our society is less interested in saving a child’s soul and more interested in capturing his or her preferences for our consumer products.
It starts in infancy with what seem like such harmless childhood characters as Dora the Explorer, Thomas the Tank Engine, Barbie and Ben 10.
“When marketing guru James McNeal discovered that drooling babies stare down at their dribble for extended periods, he knew he was on to something,” wrote Hamilton in her 2008 book What’s Happening to Our Girls?
“Trademarked characters are now strategically placed on a baby girl’s clothing so that when she dribbles, she gets to know these characters and sees them as a natural part of her world.