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The Washington Post has a story about how, since “children and preteens are more connected to the Internet than ever … retailers are looking for new ways to market — and sell — directly to young shoppers on their phones, tablets and laptops. Gone are the days of blanket television ads, marketing experts say. Instead, companies are flocking to Snapchat, YouTube Kids and other mobile apps to reach children with personalized messages.”

Since the back-to-school selling season is in full swing, this is prime time for such marketers: “Brands such as Five Star, which makes binders and folders, and Red Bull, the energy drink maker, have released new back-to-school filters on Snapchat, while clothing chain Justice is advertising in-store fashion shows on its app. Families are expected to spend an average of $685 per household on clothing, shoes and other items for school-age children in the coming weeks, according to the National Retail Federation.”

But, the Post writes, “advocacy groups say marketing to children directly on their smartphones — where companies can collect data on users and tailor ads to specific consumers — raises a number of concerns, not just about privacy but also about the kind of influence those ads may have on children.”
KC's View:
I’m not sure how you solve this, except as parents putting real restrictions on the kind of access our kids have to technology. I’m not suggesting that we turn them into Amish folks, but I do think it is our job to create limits.

I know I’ve told this story before, but it bears repeating: When I was growing up, my parents had a basic rule: "no TV toys." This meant that if the item were advertised on TV, don't even bother asking for it. (Of course, these were the days of small black-and-white televisions, seven channels and some degree of suspicion about the newfangled contraption.) As we raised our kids, we were pretty firm about not buckling in the face of far more ubiquitous marketing to children … it was our job to say "no," and we did. A lot.