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by Bud Buck, 4/14/00

Bud Buck reports - Kids and Money
(Tom - Bud, Jimmy / Sue - Sharon / Peter - Rod, Gramps / Beth - Marie, Sally / Lynn - Angela, Suzie / Dale - Anncr)

Dc: This is DCR … it's not the news. Experts estimate that more than $2 billion annually is spent on ads directed at kids. American children aged 4 to 12 spend $28 billion of their own money every year, says one expert, and teens spend $100 billion. In addition, children are said to influence $249 billion spent each year by their parents. Bud Buck reports.

(sfx: children playing)

Bud: Children … too young to work, too young to earn, seemingly at play without a care in the world. But that's just on the surface.
Who would have guessed these youngsters are making and controlling money at a phenomenal rate.

(sfx: children playing fade down)

Child psychologist Rod Spoiling.

Rod: The little cretins are loaded. Their parents are sissies and limp noodles who don't have the backbone to stand up to the tiny buggers … so the result is … six year olds control our economy. It's humiliating.

Bud: Could it be true, or is this just the delusional ranting of a maladjusted man who hates children? I went out into the free market and asked car salesperson Angela Clampett.

(sfx: outdoors w/traffic)

Angela: Oh … we have a saying. Parents drive the car, children drive the sale. Absolutely. The parents defer to them on everything. Make. Model. ABS. Rally wheels. Pinstripes. Protection plan. You pitch the kids (the younger the better), and mom and dad will follow.

Bud: (interviewing) But this is the parents' money being spent, right?

Angela: Technically. But if you don't control something, is it really yours?

(sfx: outdoors with traffic fade out)

Bud: And it also happens in small decisions too. Marie Phillipe is owner of Les Pomme Magnifique.

(sfx: restaurant bg w/music)

Marie: We don't let the yellow pages list our five star rating. Children see that and they think they can't get French Fries and Macaroni and Cheese here. But they can!

(sfx: restaurant fade out)

Bud: Children running the economy? Does this seem like monetary topsy turvy? If you think so, you are not alone.

Sharon: Well it's obvious. Irresponsible parents have given too much to their children. We can't MAKE them change … but as rational adults we do have an obligation to try to get the money back.

Bud: Sharon Fussing is a child psychologist who works for major corporations who want to market to the twelve and under set.

Sharon: Our technique is to use their vulnerability and emotional nature to trick children into handing over their fortune. If we can get them to do that, the money will be back in the hands of adults (us), where it belongs.

Bud: But isn't it unfair manipulation to sell to kids using … you know …

Sharon: Lies? Exaggeration? Greed? Guilt?

Bud: Yes, yes. All of that.

Sharon: How do you think the children got their hands on the money to begin with? They're experts in all those things. Here's one of my favorite commercials that uses all of that.

(music: playful?)
(sfx: outdoor, birds)

Sally: Hey Jimmy! Wanna play?

Jimmy: (off mic) Naw, I gotta practice piano.

Sally: Hey Suzie ….

Suzie: Sorry! Homework and chores!

Grampa: (fade on) Hi Honey! What's with all your friends?

Sally: Gee, Grampa. Nobody wants to play with me. How come?

Grampa: (matter of fact) Well Honey, because your breath smells like a peanut butter sandwich.

Sally: Gosh. I had peanut butter for lunch!

Grampa: That's what I'm talkin' about!

Sally: What can I do?

Grampa: Chew this. Hubble Bubble. It's the only gum that has real space inside!

Sally: Real Outer Space?

Grampa: Brought back on the shuttle and pumped into the center of every piece. When you bite into one, the vacuum sucks all the smelly crud off your teeth! Hubble Bubble! It's a sure way to get popular, fast!

Sally: Wow! I'll try it!

Grampa: And keep using it, sweetie! Peanut Butter fumes can short circuit my pacemaker! I know you'd feel sad if your sandwich killed Grampa!

Anncr: Hubble Bubble! Because everyone needs a little space!

(sfx: outdoors fade out)
(music end?)

Sharon: Isn't that fantastic? Retailers have reported children emptying their piggy banks and wanting nothing but Hubble Bubble in return.

Bud: It seems … manipulative. And false.

Sharon: Yes, it's very effective. We found out what most children already know … that outright lying can work better than whining or throwing a tantrum. Lots better.

Bud: (annc) Sharon Fussing, a child psychologist and marketing expert, working to restore the balance of buying power by fooling children into spending their wealth on cheap junk.
Her aim is to get that money back into the pockets of adults, where it can be used for bad food, strong booze, cosmetics, jewelry, and of course, gambling. Will she succeed, or are we too late to save this generation of children from the deleterious effects of too much disposable income?
Time will tell. This is Bud Buck!

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