Over the Edge: How the Pursuit of Youth
|About the Book|
For decades young people in the 18-to-34 age group have been the darlings of advertisers and marketers who yearn for greater sales and the elusive buzz of publicity. Young adults buy a disproportionate share of movie theater admissions, popularMoreFor decades young people in the 18-to-34 age group have been the darlings of advertisers and marketers who yearn for greater sales and the elusive buzz of publicity. Young adults buy a disproportionate share of movie theater admissions, popular music recordings, and video games, and are regarded as prime targets by most television advertisers. As a consequence of this focus, Leo Bogart argues, media content itself has changed. Sex and violence have become endemic in movies and TV because they attract young audiences. Recent years have witnessed a continual loosening of restrictions on media content and, in the larger culture, a parallel transformation in how people relate to one another. What is now acceptable in civil society is over the edge in comparison with standards of only a few decades ago. This momentous shift has come about, says Mr. Bogart, despite a flawed marketing premise the idea that young audiences are the most valuable consumers does not jibe with the evidence. Drawing on long experience as a scholar and practitioner in media and marketing, and using extensive research and exclusive interviews with media producers, Mr. Bogart traces the connection between commercial interests and standards of propriety in movies and television. He shows how media content aimed at young adults inevitably engages juveniles as well. He describes how the threat of government regulation has prompted the film, television, music, and video-game industries to adopt systems that rate or label their output- but how the labels intended to keep children away from unsuitable content actually encourage them to taste the forbidden fruit. And these same labels encourage media producers to introduce such content gratuitously. Over the Edge is a compelling analysis of a major American social problem, with surprising conclusions.