27 thoughts on “Stockholm Syndrome

  1. Damn that burger looks good.

    I want to know their methodology. Strange that an organisation called “Choice” promotes the restriction in our choices.

  2. I think Choice is merely commenting on what people want, not endorsing it. I think that parents should teach their kids to make their own choices. My parents told me the truth about cigarettes and lung cancer from a very early age, and advertising has had NO effect on my early decision to not smoke. We can all make the right choices, if properly trained in self-reliance.

  3. these are some first class parents!
    too lazy/stupid to teach their kids about how advertisement works, instead they wanna stick them in a bubble

  4. i particularly liked this line from the article,

    More than 90 per cent of parents had experienced children asking for unhealthy food.

    you mean that 1 in 10 children don’t ask for unhealthy food? show me them!

    my son would happily live on chips and ice cream all day every day.

  5. Yup – putting them in a bubble is right… which, of course, will make them more susceptible to advertising, not less.

    BTW, posting a picture of a Big Mac just before lunch is extremely unfair, Pommy… think of the children!

    CHOICE magazine is mostly good. Unfortunately, they don’t simply report what people (apparently) want – they often seem to advocate various interventions.

    That said, I generally admire them (and am a subscriber to their online stuff). They are, for the most part, a free-market solution to consumer choices – not just doing product reviews, but providing background information for people to make informed choices. From their About page:

    CHOICE is fiercely independent: we do not receive ongoing funding from any commercial, government or other organisation. We earn the money to buy all the products we test and support our campaigns through the sale of our own products and services.

  6. I agree, Fleeced. A fairly strong rationale for government intervention in business/consumer contracts is the perceived asymmetry of information between the corporation and casual consumer. Large and influential organisations like Choice represent the kind of innovative free market solutions that fix the ‘market for lemon cars’ dilemma, and show that consumer markets can exist without government product standards and regulations.

  7. Where’re the fries? I want fries! Whad’ya mean, they’re banned? I want fries! What’s a burger without fries? A burger without fries is like socialism without a whip.

  8. Pictures of burgers made me fat!

    Thank God my parents didn’t whinge and moan about the government not banning junk food commercials. How pathetic.
    I like the tag “crap parents”.

    Here’s the actual Choice site: http://www.choice.com.au/viewArticleAsOnePage.aspx?id=105438
    I checked it just in case the survey contained leading questions, or in case the Advertiser got it wrong, but they didn’t.

    It’s hard to believe 83% favour this kind of government intervention. It’s very depressing for a Monday Pommy.

    Incidentally, in my experience Choice is a left wing group, no doubts about it.

  9. Come on now, children have take things they’re told for granted. It’s pretty important in order for them to stay alive, if they had to find out the hard way about everything their parents tell them not to do, we’d be much fewer in number. I’m in no way suggesting we stop people selling poison burgers to children, that’s their parents’ job. But if advertising to children didn’t work, it wouldn’t be done. I think there should definitely be restrictions on advertising to children in places that parents have limited intervention.

  10. #10

    Parents are responsible for monitoring their children’s wellbeing. Period. If the little shits still manage to get their hands around a Big Mac or two then it’s not the end of the world. The only way a kid could get obese from eating this crap would be with cooperation and/or negligence on the side of the parents – some silly advertising regulations aren’t going to stop that.

    “I think there should definitely be restrictions on advertising to children in places that parents have limited intervention”

    Such as?

  11. Burgers aren’t poison, Mr Funk. They may not be healthy – but then only you have too much of them (like most things). You would have to eat a lot of the stuff to develop obesity, diabetes, etc, etc… Parents have all the power necessary to intervene before it gets to that stage.

    It’s down to the parents.

  12. Just because something won’t be advertised doesn’t mean that it will just wipe away from a kid’s mind. Kids know they like junk food. I know I liked junk food as a kid. I didn’t need to see commercials to remind me. *Ghostly TV Voice* Riley! You forgot all about Taco Bell! Go eat up!. I saw an add for a Captain Crunch Milk Shake. It looked fantastic. So the next time I was near a Carl’s Jr I had one… and maybe a few weeks later should I eat there again I will engourge myself in another. Its all about self control.

    @10. The reality about the Advertisement industry is that it tries to get new casual customers to come in and try their food once or twice. Advertisements have no effect on people who are already regular customers. People don’t become unhealthy from fast food by rarely eating it. They become unhealthy due to a large constant consumption. If kids who eat at McDonalds daily stop watching commercials on TV i doubt they will suddenly forget about McDonalds.

    The irony of Fascism is that it doesn’t really work.

  13. I make lots of excited noises when my kids detect lollies in the supermarket. We check them out and take delite in the bright colours and the lovely ads with fun characters and I never forget to mention how totally delicious they must be. It never fails to amuse them. If they ask to buy them I tell them that they make you really fat like a hippo. Kids want you to share their excitement and acknowledge their desires. You don’t need to buy the crap in order to do that. My kids get cranky like all kids (actually like all people) but I don’t think I’ve ever seen them chuck a wobbly due to a failure to buy lollies. Advertisements add to the joy and they’re free entertainment.

  14. Pommy; Be more careful in your links, I followed the one you gave out and there was an ad for seeing all the footy on Foxtel, now I just have to have it.

    OK, This proves that there are some parents out there who can’t face the reality of saying no. Another part of this equation, are those who, although not having that problem get irritated with the nagging from the kids.

    Another significant part of the 80% are altruists, who worry about obesity and want nanny Rudd to do something about it.

    These figures tell us little statistically other than too many people look to government for solutions.

  15. How about this. What if they would of reworded the question asked to parents along these lines…

    “Does Advertising cause your children to make unhealthy choices?”

    Sure plenty of parents think that other kids are stupid. Plenty of parents think that other parents are retards. But very few will admit that their kids are mindless drones to the advertisements. Elitists will make up faults for the majority of people but will never admit to having any faults of their own.

  16. It is interesting though that the parents seem to have been asked only whether they want to see restrictions or bans on advertising, but it is Choice who interpret this as meaning that governments need to act on this issue. If Choice and a parent groups want to petition owners of advertising mediums such as TV and billboard owners to restrict fast food advertising, then let them. Invoking the state is the only problem here, not the wish to shield young eyes from influential information sources. Berating parents for wanting to protect their children is not going to win any support for libertarian ideals.

  17. i actually don’t agree Brendan. part of raising children is teaching them that they can’t have everything they want.

  18. You seem to be attacking this on two completely separate issues – censorship by the state AND poor parenting, and mixing the two arguments together. I agree, parents probably should teach their kids about advertising and personal discipline against temptation, but that doesn’t mean that they are wrong from a libertarian perspective to ask TV stations to restrict fast food advertising.

    Subsititute advertising for a strip club for fast food advertising – would the same parents be wrong to ask the TV station to self-censor what adverts they carry?

    Just because you have different parenting values and standards, doesn’t make peaceable, voluntary advocacy wrong. It is only wrong that they seek to use the state to enforce their values on us, not that they have values that they want to promote.

    Better to criticise their proposed state enforced method of “protecting the children” than to argue against their strongly held principles regarding childrearing.

  19. i don’t think the issues are separable, Brendan.

    i am against parents getting together to ban junk food ads because
    i) how do you define junk food? it is simply impractical
    ii) if the parents dont like the ads, then they can simply turn off the TV.
    ii) it is not for the state to supervise our children but the parents,
    iv) it is a tyranny of a lazy majority.

  20. Pommy,

    There are 2 issues that are separate:

    1. shielding children from fast food ads
    2. using the state to enforce your values through censorship

    Argument against the practicality and utility of shielding children has nothing to do with the latter issue of free speech. If we can’t defend free speech and liberty on its own regardless of the source of attack, then libertarian arguments come across as hollow.

    Even if you agree with the aims of those that would use the state to further them, from the point of liberty we must still argue against state interference.

    Mixing the two arguments is counter-productive in the long term. You might convince someone that it is stupid to censor fast food ads, but you won’t necessarily make them understand why state interference is bad per se.

  21. I think Brendan is right in so far as there are two issues here. I don’t want Big Brother on TV but I’m not going to use the government to stop it. Two separate issues. I don’t want my kids watching crap on TV but I use the off button or rent a DVD rather than resort to the ballot box.

  22. These are the same parents that believe child care shouldn’t be run for profit isn’t?
    Back in the good ol’ days we had this thing called discipline and it made me shut my mouth when I was whinging for something I saw on TV.

  23. I’d be willing to ban junk food, not just advertising, as long as my definition of junk was adopted.

    No fucking lettuce for a start. And beetroot, parsnips, chocos and turnips – obviously complete junk. Anything that tastes so awful has to be unhealthy.

    But I won’t accept some other other bastard’s version of junk. Some people couldn’t tell good food from a turd.

  24. Pommy, it is the habit of Governments to promise that people CAN have whatever they want! Big Brother will look after you! How can ordinary parents compete with that?

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