October 31st, 1999
Group says ads manipulate children with psychology
By Constance L. Hays
The New York Times
Deploring what they see as an unfair and conflict-ridden manipulation of the young, a group of psychologists and other professionals has called on the American Psychological Association to restrict the use of psychological research by advertisers pitching toys, video games, snack food and other products to children.
The letter, written by Gary Ruskin, who heads Commercial Alert, a Washington-based advocacy group, and Allen Kanner, a clinical psychologist at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, Calif., was sent to the association’s president late last month. It urges the association to issue a formal denunciation of the use of psychological techniques in marketing and advertising to children, and asks for amendments to the association’s code of ethics that would address the issue.