Marketing and Consumerism - Overview

Canadians under the age of twenty – the “Echo Generation,” as they’re often called –make up a quarter (26 per cent) of the country’s population.

Not only is this generation strong in numbers, it also exerts enormous economic influence within the family—a fact not lost on the marketing and advertising industries.

Current industry statistics on spending by youth are hard to come by: however, the 2005 YTV Tween Report reported Canadian kids ages 9 to 14 spending almost $3 billion of their own money and influencing at least $20 billion in purchases by their parents – a number that has continued to rise since then. [1]

Once an ignored demographic for advertisers, today’s young people have become the most marketed-to generation in history, thanks to their spending power and their future clout as adult consumers.

This section explores the ways that children and teens are targeted by marketers and provides tools to help counter the constant bombardment of marketing messages that have become a ubiquitous part of the lives of Canadian youth.



[1] Alberta Teachers’ Federation. “Beyond the Bake Sale: Exposing Schoolhouse Commercialism.” ATA Magazine: Volume 87 2006-7, Number 2.