Is it right to expect hard-working parents to splash out on a new replica football kit each season?
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
A few weeks ago I wrote about my disquiet at advertising aimed at children, both on television and in magazines, and how it was destroying childhood by turning youngsters into little consumers, always on the lookout for something “better” than they’ve got already, writes Sheena Grant.
Well, I’ve now got a new number one enemy as far as unscrupulous advertising aimed at children is concerned: professional football. I’ve cast my net wide here to include everything from the Premier League to clubs across the land and magazines aimed at youngsters. Until recently, one such football magazine was a weekly purchase in my household, and as it carried a trusted name I didn’t bother to look too closely at its contents.
When I did, I was horrified. It was full of adverts for football boots, articles that were in reality nothing more than advertising about the latest football-based computer games, news about the “latest” club kits and lots of gossipy information about footballers, their lavish lifestyles and how much they cost or get paid, as if that was something to aspire to in itself.
The magazine is no longer something I buy. But football and its marketing machine have left an indelible mark on a young, impressionable mind.
Hardly a day goes by that I’m not informed about the latest “must-have” football boots, worn by Ronaldo, Neymar, Messi or some other sporting demi-god.
Then there’s the “new” Premier League football ? used by the top flight and which will, apparently, elevate your skills to new levels. And I haven’t even got started on the yearly “new” kit yet.
I’ve tried to explain that each is just a marketing device, designed to fleece you of cash by making you feel that your life would be so much better if only you had this one thing, which is often the thing that your sporting idols are paid huge amounts of money to endorse.
Regularly splashing out on new kits, branded boots and Premier League footballs isn’t in my thrifty living script. I have to resist. But at what cost to household harmony and to a childhood that surely should be free of such nonsense? So far, my wisdom is falling on deaf ears. After all, I’m not a highly-paid footballer who can turn on a sixpence and score a wonder goal. What do I know? I’m only a mum.
Email Sheena or tweet using #ThriftyLiving.