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Watching Frontline’s The Merchants

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 06, 2001

Watching Frontline’s The Merchants of Cool last night very nearly made me ill. I knew that teens were being marketed to intensely, but I had no idea as to the extent of it. Parents, did you know your children are owned by Viacom? I’m not exactly sure what I can do about the situation, but I do know that as time passes, I get more and more uneasy about mass media, advertising, and marketing in general. How do I reconcile these feelings and my responsibilies & duties as an employee of a company** that is using marketing in similar ways and aspires to be one of those large companies that controls what information people have access to and when?

** In all fairness, the company I work for is not doing anything any other company would be doing in its place. My uneasiness is not with my company, it’s with the state of things in general.