There have always been advertisers who market to children. Clearly products such as toys and sugary cereals have been around since before our grandparents were small. Just as today, those who made such products developed ad campaigns to promote them to an interested audience. Many years ago however, it was a bit easier to recognize what was an advertisement and what wasn't. Advertisements were limited to displays in a store, a newspaper ad, or a brief spot on TV or radio.
Some merchandising was creeping in during the 60's with Beatles lunchboxes and similar items. Today however, half of the clothing that kids wear includes an advertisement of one sort or another. Backpack, shoes, and many accessory items also display the most popular brands for a child's peers to see. The influence of advertising is increasingly far reaching.
Today, ads are much more pervasive and less recognizeable as a sales pitch. For instance, while eating at a favorite child oriented fast food restaurant, a child may receive a toy. That toy may also be tied to a movie, a cartoon, a video game, or to a website that offers additional games, toys, and related products. Books, clothing, accessory items,