Guardian runs a particularly vitriolic rant about how advertising is corrupting today's youths:
"On one side, a £30bn child-orientated market, armed with the latest multimedia weapons to lure, catch and keep the inner life of a small son or daughter. On the other side, a busy, guilty, stressed individual parent trying to avoid an embarrassing scene. Who do you think is going to win? [...]
The biggest influence on modern children [...] is not the school curriculum, the lectures of the faithful, panics in the press, ministerial initiatives or even family ethos. No, the biggest influence is marketing; the power of brands that invades the minds of the youngest."
Speaking of invading the minds of the youngest, here's the best book out there on the subject. Had it on my wishlist for a while, just got it today and can't stop reading. Did you know that "beoynd their own income [meaning allowances that amount to $15 billion each year], children also influence the purchase of more than $160 billion in family goods and services?"
But seriously. I grew up in a place where they didn't have any ads at all besides party propaganda and hand-drawn movie posters and the number of annoying kids per capita wasn't any lower.