Jun 24 2010

KPFK Fund Drive – Day 16

Feature Stories | Published 24 Jun 2010, 9:34 am | Comments Off on KPFK Fund Drive – Day 16 -

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Listen to the entire program

media educationShop ‘Til You Drop

A recent Gallup poll split consumers found that consumer spending this month is returning to what they call a “new normal” or what essentially lower levels of consumer spending. The poll split people surveyed into three categories, Upper, Middle, and Lower Income, and a report accompanying the poll found the obvious result that middle and lower-income consumers do not have a lot of money to spend. This is not surprising with national unemployment at 9% and national underemployment at 18%. But retailers are still courting the less than wealthy consumer through new advertising campaigns and branding strategies. Wal*Mart dropped its tag-line “Always Low Prices” in favor of, “Save Money. Live Better.,” hoping the new slogan conveyed a higher quality of life through shopping. Instant coffee companies are appealing to lower income people by selling their product as a cheaper alternative to a daily trip to the coffee shop. Companies within the tele-com industry that enjoy monopoly status, like Comcast cable TV and Verizon Internet, are refusing to lower the cost of services, but are advertising more channels or faster service for the same high prices. At the heart of the crisis is an almost complete dependence of economic recovery on consumer spending despite job scarcity and wage depression.

That dependence on consumer spending goes back just a few decades in American history and today we’ll spend the hour focusing on how Americans are pressured into shopping at all costs, the tricks advertisers use to lure us into the malls, including our children, the focus groups, the PR firms, and the market research, all designed to make us better consumers, at the expense of our well-being. And we’ll give you and opportunity to spend your money in meaningful ways, like supporting your favorite radio station.

We’ll be featuring three important documentaries, all available as thank you gifts, starting Shop ‘Til You Drop, a film created by the prestigious Media Education Foundation. Shop ‘Til You Drop explores the history of consumer culture and how corporate tactics have changed over the years.

Consuming Kids

Consuming Kids, also produced by Media Education Foundation is a disturbing look at how American children have been targeted by advertisers in insidious ways. It’s a must-see for all parents, teachers, and anyone interested in the well being of children.

Century of the Self

The Century of the Self is one of our most popular thank you gifts over the years and perfectly complements Shop ‘Til You Drop, and Consuming Kids. Created by award-winning BBC film maker Adam Curtis, a KPFK favorite, Century of the Self examines a hundred years of history beginning with Sigmund Freud and his ideas on psycho-analysis and how those ideas were used by corporations to market products to people.

Thank you Gifts:

Shop ‘Til You Drop – DVD – $120
Consuming Kids – DVD – $120
Century of the Self – 2 DVD set – $90
Conscious Consumer Pack (all of the above) – 4 DVDs – $300

Call 818-985-5735 or visit www.kpfk.org to make a pledge.

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