- Lead-organizer: Alana Institute
- 11:30 - 13:00
- Date: 13 Jun 2012
- Room: T-5
Manifesto for a consumerism-free childhood
Child Consumerism, Advertising and Sustainability
Organizing partnersAlana Institute, Alliance for Childhood, IDEC (Brazilian Consumer Defense Institute), ANDI ? Communications and Rights, CFP ? National Council of Psychology, Akatu Institute for Conscious Consumption.
IntroductionWe are living a completely new moment in history, a global environmental crisis, due to consecutive decades of abusive extraction of natural resources all around the planet.
The great engine of this process is consumerism, an outcome of current market policies. If before this issue was an adult population?s problem, nowadays it?s the child public that has grown a strong target for abusive advertising.
According to a study made by Ibope (2010), the Brazilian kids spend an average of five hours watching television every day, being a constant target of commercials, as elucidated by Interscience (2003), children are active participants of the home consumption decision, accounting for 80% of all choices, from which car to buy to which cleaner.
As we want a true Sustainable Development, we must contest our consume habits propagated from childhood. It is crucial that this discussion includes a change of paradigms of the advertising sector.
Detailed programmeThe central reflection being proposed for this event is the contest of the ways which advertising treats children today. According to Ibope?s data (Ibope: Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics), the Brazilian children spends an average of 5h05 in front a television every day. And according to the Federal University of Espírito Santo, Brazil, 64% of the ads served at Children?s Day Eve of 2011 were directed to children. We understand that in order to achieve a Sustainable Development it is necessary to find a new paradigm of consumption, a new form for the economical model.
The consume pattern propagated among our children is nowadays unsustainable, as it stimulates a consumerism with no reflection, taking advantage of the lack of judgment of children, making they feel a need for some toy, cloth, or food by selling the concept of causality from consume and happiness, friendship or success. Until children haven?t achieved 12 years old they are not prepared to understand the selling purpose of advertising. Even so, there is a giant part of commercials being directed to this public every day. We are making the general public loyal to consume ?from cradle to grave?, as it is sad, forming citizens of consume, sustaining a machine that, at its other side, keeps extracting in unsustainable ways all the natural resources the planet still have, as oil, wood, water, etc.
If the world we want for tomorrow is a place where the concept of Sustainable Development will be part of every sector of society, it is fundamental that we rethink the ways we deal to the needs being constructed through advertising, this way quitting superfluous consumerism, also finding proper ways to intend the waste we generate from the consumerism we really can?t escape having.
In short, to direct an advertising campaign for the child public is to take advantage of their vulnerability, stimulating to consumerism a public that can?t reflect on their habits of consumption, in other words, it is to foment a totally unconscious pattern of consumption. And, as it is far known, to stimulate such a unconscious practice in a planet that has its resources increasingly scarce and that is passing a climate crisis is an extremely dangerous practice and it is not the posture we expect from the private sector?s sustainable and social responsibilities.
Will attend to this event as speakers: Gabriela Vuolo, coordinator of mobilization of the Child and Consumerism campaign of Alana Institute, graduated in International Relations by PUC-SP; Hélio Mattar, idealizer, cofounder and president of Akatu Institute for Conscious Consumption, had his doctorate concluded in Industrial Engineering at the Stanford University (USA); Lisa Gunn, Executive Coordinator of IDEC (Brazilian Consumer Defense Institute), sociologist, graduated at Unicamp, had her master degree in Environmental Sciences under the PROCAM program; Roseli Goffman, General Secretariat of Brazilians National Forum for Communication Democratization and counselor of the National Council of Psychology, Clinic Psychologist, graduated at UFRJ; Ute Craemer, founder of the Communitarian Monte Azul Association and also founder of the Alliance for Childhood in Brazil, Waldorf professor, translator; Veet Vivarta, Executive Secretariat of ANDI - Communications and Rights, journalist, coordinating projects related to public policies, social and business responsibilities, among others.
It is expected for this discussion to contribute in positive ways for the outcomes to be constructed at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), as we understand that consumption does play a central role at the structural causes of social, economical and environmental imbalance. As Green Economy is one of the pillars of the UNCSD debates, the discussion to be developed in this Side Event will be very rich and shall bring real strong contributions inside the theme of the formation that children receives by being exposed to advertising campaigns majorly from television.
Those who really can guarantee social and environmental balance are us, human beings, citizens, governors, entrepreneurs, civil society. The formation we provide to children today is responsible for the society we can expect for tomorrow, thus more than the immediate action that is crucial for the impact minimization we already need, it is necessary to invest in long terms on the formation of next generations, revising the forms which private investors sees children and childhood and elaboration public policies that drive and ensure such commitments.