When it comes to spending money on consumer goods, Madison Avenue apparently never underestimates the power of a whining child. And as the advertising industry increasingly aims commercial pitches directly at the very young, more and more companies are turning to child psychologists to help them hone their message.
Some specialists in child development and psychology are disturbed by the trend. Dr. Allen Kanner is one of them. A clinical child psychologist for nearly 20 years, Kanner works with children from the inner city and the wealthy suburbs. But regardless of where they come from, Kanner says, the children he sees share one thing in common: a growing, even insatiable, desire for material goods.