“The image that is most disturbing to me,” says Schlosser, “is the rooms full of very intelligent adults with lofty degrees in psychology and anthropology sitting around trying to figure out how to manipulate three and four-year-olds.”
He could also have mentioned the picture of a child with his head in an MRI machine that scanned his brain activity as he watched commercials — research into “neuromarketing”. Lolly-maker Chupa Chups is very keen on this type of research, hoping to harness activity in the brain associated with its brand image to “create loyal customers”.
Schlosser wouldn’t mind those brainy graduates’ machinations to hook pre-schoolers on burgers and fries “if it was incredibly healthy and good for them, but thinking about getting them to do something that’s going to harm them . . .”