Phone stress on kids
MOBILE phone marketers are focused
on children as young as six, the Australia Institute says.
A research paper released by the institute yesterday says consumer pressure on
children can lead to financial hardship and psychological distress.
About 23 per cent of "tweens" -- children aged six to 13 -- in Australia already
own a mobile phone, said the report, which drew on data from Roy Morgan
Research's Young Australians Survey.
Author Christian Downie said tweens were increasingly concerned about "looking
"Around 61 per cent of children who have a mobile phone want the latest
technology, and 54 per cent are planning on upgrading their phone," Mr Downie
The report found that while parents were the target of marketers spruiking the
security benefits of mobile phones, advertisers tempted children with phones
that looked good, or encouraged them to download the latest ringtones and games.
Mr Downie said advertisers were commercialising childhood.
"Some manufacturers are attempting to develop cradle to grave brand loyalty in
children," he said.
"This could lead to children viewing consumption as a means by which they can
construct their own identity. They are defining themselves by what they consume
and not who they are," Mr Downie said.
He called for tough restrictions on advertising aimed at children.