As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 3


Notes: Marketing, Materialism and Family Stress

= Exposure to Marketing Contributes to Children's Materialism as young as preschoolers.(21)

= A recent study of materialistic values among children found that children, who were more materialistic, were less happy, had lower self-esteem, and reported more symptoms of anxiety. They showed less generosity and allocated less money to charity when they imagined receiving a windfall. They engage in fewer positive environmental behaviors (e.g., reusing paper, using less water while showering).(22)

= A survey of parents found that 63% of parents surveyed believed that their children define their self worth in terms of what they own.(23) A number of studies have demonstrated a correlation between children's exposure to advertising and their purchase requests (24); reducing the amount of television that children watch reduces their requests for toys. (25)

= A poll of young people aged 12-17 demonstrates the power of the “nag factor” and how marketing can lead to family conflict and stress. 40% of respondents said they had asked their parents for an advertised product they thought their parents would not approve of.

= The average young person said they have to ask nine times before their parents give in and let them have what they want. Eleven percent of 12-13 year olds admitted to asking their parents more than fifty times for products they've seen advertised. This “keep asking strategy” is paying huge dividends for kids and marketers alike: 55% of young people surveyed said they are usually successful in getting their parents to give in.(26)

= Today, encouraging children to use “the nag factor” to get their parents to buy things is a tried and proven marketing technique.(27) In 1998, market researchers conducted a study to help retailers exploit children's nagging to boost sales(28); they found that nagging was responsible for 40% of trips to “entertainment establishments like the Discovery Zone and Chuck E. Cheese,” one of every three trips to a fast-food restaurant...(29)


21.Goldberg, M.E. & Gorn, G.J. (1978). Some unintended consequences of TV advertising to children. Journal of Consumer Research, 5(1), 2229.
22. Kasser, (radhi allahu anhu). (in press). Psychometric development of brief measures of frugality, generosity, and materialism for use in children and adolescents. In: K. Moore & L. Lippman (Eds.) Conceptualizing and Measuring Indicators of Positive Development: What do children need to flourish? New York: Kluwer/Plenum.
23. Center for a New American Dream. (1999, July). New poll shows marketing to kids taking its toll on parents, families. Takoma Park, MD.
24. Buijzen, M. & Valkenburg (2003). The effects of television advertising on materialism, parentchild conflict, and unhappiness: A review of research. Applied Developmental Psychology, 24, 437-456.
25. Robinson, (radhi allahu anhu).N., et al. (2001). Effects of reducing television viewing on children's requests for toys. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 229(3).
26. Center for a New American Dream. (2002, May) Thanks to Ads, Kids Won't Take No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No for an Answer. Takoma Park, MD.
27. Eig, J. (2001). Edible entertainment: Food companies grab kids by fancifully packaging products as toys, games. Wall Street Journal, October 24.
28. E. Morales. (2000, March). The Nag Factor: Measuring Children's Influence. Admap, 35-37.
29. Western Media International (1998). The fine art of whining: Why nagging is a kid's best friend. Business Wire. August 11.

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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