Necessity of Implementing Advertising Literacy Programs in Preschool Curricula in Debt-Ridden Greecechool Curricula in Debt-Ridden Greece


  •   Evangeli Papachristou

  •   Maria Nikolakaki


This research is framed by the principles of liberating education, according to which education is political and members of the community have the opportunity to change themselves through critical consciousness. In this context, we explore childhood consumerism in debt-ridden Greece based on nationwide quantitative research conducted through questionnaires. The sample was 320 parents of kindergarten students attending private and public kindergartens of Greece, stratified by income. According to the results, advertisements affect not only children but also the parents and the family as a whole. The results demonstrate the need and desire of parents that preschoolers develop resistance to marketing techniques. We propose teaching resistance to children and their families by including advertising literacy, a branch of media education, in pre-school education curricula. This implementation will help develop students’ critical thinking skills, empower adults, transform society, and reinforce democracy for a fairer childhood.

Keywords: advertising literacy, neoliberalism, preschool curricula, social reconstruction


Alanen, L. (2001). Explorations in generational analysis. In L. Alanen & B. Mayall (Eds.), Conceptualizing child-adult relations (pp. 11–22). Routledge Flamer.

Ambert, A. (1994). An International Perspective on Parenting: Social Change and Social Constructs. Journal of Marriage and Family, 56, 529–43.

Ambler, T. (2007). Response to 'International food advertising, pester power and its effects. International Journal of Advertising. 26. 2837–286.

Arapoglou, V., and Gounis, K. (2015). Poverty and Homelessness in Athens: Governance and the Rise ofan Emergency Model of Social Crisis Management. Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and SoutheastEurope. GreeSE Paper No. 90. ISE,

Atkin, C. K. (1975a). Survey of pre-adolescent’s responses to television commercials: The effects of television advertising on children (Report No. 6). Michigan State University. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED116820.

Atkin, C. K. (1975b). Survey of children’s and mothers’ responses to television commercials. The effects of television advertising on children (Report No. 8). Michigan State University. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED123675.

Atkin, C. K. (1980). Effects of television advertising on children. In E. L. Palmer, & A. Dorr (Eds.), Children and the faces of television: Teaching, violence, selling ( pp. 287–305). Academic Press.

Atkin, C., K. (1978). Observation of parent-child interaction in supermarket decision-making. Journal of Marketing, 42(4), 41–5.

Bakir, A., Vitell, S.J. (2010). The Ethics of Food Advertising Targeted Toward Children: Parental Viewpoint. J Bus Ethics, 91, 299–311,

Beck, D. and Purcell, R. (2010). Popular Education Practice for Youth and Community Development Work. Series: Empowering youth and community work practice. Learning Matters.

Ben-Arieh, A. (2005). Where are the children? Children’s role in measuring and monitoring their well-being. Social Indic, 74(3), 573–596. 4645-6.

Blades, B., Gunter, B., and Oates, C. (2005). Advertising to children on TV. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Bougioukos, G. (2011). The consequences of economic crises on children and their rights. In Daskalakis, D. & Givalos, M. (eds.) Childhood and Children’s Rights. Livani Publications.

Bourdieu P (1984). Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (trans. R Nice). Harvard University Press.

Buijzen, M. (2007). Reducing children’s susceptibility to commercials: Mechanisms of factual and evaluative advertising interventions. Media Psychology, 9(2), 411–430.

Buijzen, M., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2000). The impact of television advertising on children’s Christmas wishes. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 44, 456–470.

Buijzen, M., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2003a). The effects of television advertising on materialism, parent Child conflict, and unhappiness: A review of research. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 24(4), 437–456.

Buijzen, M., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2003a). The effects of television advertising on materialism, parent Child conflict, and unhappiness: A review of research. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 24(4), 437–456.

Burroughs, J., & Rindfleisch, A. (2002). Materialism and well‐being: A conflicting values perspective. Journal of Consumer Research, 29(3), 348–370.

Cohen, R., (1992). Hardship Britain: Being Poor in the 1990s.Child Poverty Action Group.

Common Sense Media (2020). The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Kids Age Zero to Eight.

Conger, R. D., Conger, K. J., & Martin, M. J. (2010). Socioeconomic status, family processes, and individual development. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, 685–704.

Cornish, L.. (2014). Mum, can I play on the internet? Parents’ understanding, perception and responses to online advertising designed for children. International Journal of Advertising, 33(3), 437–73.

Cradock, G. ( 2007). The Responsibility Dance: Creating Neoliberal Children. Childhood, 14, 153–72.

Cunningham, H. (1995). Children and Childhood in Western Society since 1500. Longman.

Daskalakis, D. (2015). Crisis, Childhood and Children’s Rights: Α Modern Sociological Approach. International Journal of Social Pedagogy – Special Issue ‘Social Pedagogy in Times of Crisis in Greece’ 4(1), 165–176.

Davies, B., & Bansel., P. (2007). Neoliberalism and Education. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 16, 883–86.

Dean, J., (2009). Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies: Communicative Capitalism and Left Politics. Durham: Duke University Press.

Del Mar Pamies, M.,Ryan, G., and Valverde, M. (2016). How intervention can empower children as consumers in dealing with advertising. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 40(5), 601–9.

Doyle Roche, M. (2009). Children, Consumerism, and the Common Good. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Eagle, L. (2007). Commercial media literacy. Journal of Advertising, 36(2), 101–110.

Elliott, R. and Leonard, C. (2004). Peer pressure and poverty: exploring fashion brands and consumption symbolism among children of the British poor. Journal of Consumer Behavior, 3(4), 347–60.

Elstat. (2020). Income and Living Conditions Survey of Householdsin Greece.

European Court of Auditors. (2020). Fight against child poverty, Special Report.

Eurostat (2016). Children at risk of poverty or social exclusion (AROPE). Data sets. Figshare.

Eurostat, (2019). Unemployment statistics and beyond,

Evans, N., Carlson, L., and Hoy. M., G. (2013). Coddling Our Kids: Can Parenting Style Affect Attitudes Toward Advergames? Journal of Advertising, 42 (2–3): 228–40.

Feldman, S., & Wolf, A., & Warmouth, D. (1977). Parental Concern about Child‐Directed Commercials. Journal of Communication, 27, 125–137.

Foucault, M. (1972). Archaeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language, Pantheon Books, New York.

Foucault, M. (1977) Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Allen Lane.

Foucault, M. (1988). Technologies of the Self. In L. H. Martin, H. Gutman, & P. H. Hutton (Eds.), Technologies of the Self: A Seminar with Michel Foucault (pp. 16-49). University of Massachusetts Press.

Galst, J., & White, M. (1976). The unhealthy persuader: The reinforcing value of television and children’s purchase—influencing attempts at the supermarket. Child Development, 47, 1089–1096.

Garcia, A., & Seglem, R., & Share, J. (2013). Transforming Teaching and Learning Through Critical Media Literacy Pedagogy. Learning Landscapes, 6, 109–124.

Gordon, C., S.,Jones, S., C., Kervin, L., and Lee, J., K. (2016). Empowering students to respond to alcohol advertisements: Results from a pilot study of an Australian media literacy intervention. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 40(3), 231–2.

Greek Government, Law 4521/2018 (2018, March 2nd). Two years compulsory pre-primary education attendance. Government Gazette, (Α),(38), p. 5894.

Gunter, B., & Furnham, A. (1998). Children as consumers: A psychological analysis of the young people’s market. Routledge.

Hall, Stuart. (1997). The television discourse - encoding and decoding. In: Gray, Ann; McGUIGAN, Jim. (Org.) Studies in culture: An introduction reader. Londres: Arnold,b, 28-34.

Hamilton, K. & Catterall, M.. (2008). "I can do it!" consumer coping and poverty. Advances in Consumer Research, 35, 551–556.

Hamilton, K., & Catterall, M. (2006). Consuming Love in Poor Families: Children's Influence on Consumption Decisions. Journal of Marketing Management, 22, 1031–1052.

Hennum,. N . (2014). Developing Child-Centered Social Policies: When Professionalism Takes Over. Social Sciences 3: 441–59.

Hite, R.E. & Eck, R. (1987) Advertising to children: attitudes of business vs. consumers, Journal of Advertising Research, October/November, 40–53.

Hobbs R., (2011). The State of Media Literacy: A Response to Potter. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 55(3), 419–430.

Hoek, R., W., Rozendaal, E., van Schie, H., & Buijzen, M. (2020). Inhibitory control moderates the relation between advertising literacy activation and advertising susceptibility. Media Psychology,

Holloway, S., L., & Pimlott-Wilson., H (2014). Enriching Children, Institutionalizing Childhood? Geographies of Play, Extracurricular Activities, and Parenting in England. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 104. 10.1080/00045608.2013.846167.

Hudders, L., Cauberghe, V., Panic, K., & de Vos, W. (2017). Children’s advertising literacy for new advertising formats: The mediating impact of advertising literacy on the (un)intended effects of advergames and advertising funded programs. In P. Verlegh, H. Voorveld, & M. Eisend (Eds.), Advances in Advertising Research VI (pp. 241–252). Wiesbaden, Springer.

Hudson, S., Hudson, D. & Peloza, J. (2008). Meet the Parents: A Parents’ Perspective on Product Placement in Children’s Films. J Bus Ethics, 80, 289–304.

Isler, L., Popper, E. T., & Ward, S. (1987). Children’s purchase requests and parental responses: Results from a diary study. Journal of Advertising Research, 27(5), 29–39.

Jain, A. (2010). Temptations in cyberspace: New battlefields in childhood obesity. Health Affairs, 29(3), 425–429.

Jenks C. (1996). Childhood. Routldege: London.

Jensen, T., (2018). Parenting the Crisis: The Cultural Politics of Parent-Blame. Policy Press.

John, D. R. (1999). Consumer socialization of children: A retrospective look at twenty-five years of research. Journal of Consumer Research, 26(3), 183–213.

Karamanis, K., and Hyz, Α. (2014). Flexible Working and Unemployment in Greece: An Analysis and Review of the Evidenc. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 4, 533–42.

Kaur, P. & Singh, R. (2005) Conflict resolution in urban and rural families: a factor analytical approach. The Journal of Business Perspective, 9, 59–67.

Kaur, P., Singh, R. (2006). Children in family purchase decision making in India and the West: A review. Academy of Marketing Science Review, 10(8), 1–31.

Kentikelenis, A., Karanikolos, M., Reeves, A., McKee, M., and Stuckler, D. (2014). Greece’sHealth Crisis: From Austerity to Denialism. The Lancet, 383, No. 9918, February 22, pp. 748–753.

Kerrane, B., & Hogg, M., & Bettany, S. (2012). Children's influence strategies in practice: Exploring the co-constructed nature of the child influence process in family consumption. Journal of Marketing Management, 28. 809-835.

Kochuyt, T., (2004). Giving Away One's Poverty. On the Consumption of Scarce Resources within the Family. The Sociological Review, 52. 139–161. 10.1111/j.1467-954X.2004.00462.x.

Kunkel, D., Wilcox, B. L., Cantor, J., Palmer, E., Linn, S., & Dowrick, P. (2004). Report of the APA task force on advertising and children. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Langer, B. (2002). Commodified Enchantment: Children and Consumer Capitalism. Thesis Eleven, 69, 67–81.

Lawlor, M., & Prothero, A. (2008). Exploring Children's Understanding of Television Advertising-Beyond the Advertiser's Perspective. European Journal of Marketing, 42, 1203–1223. 10.1108/03090560810903646.

Lemke, T. (2004). Marx sans guillemets: Foucault, la gouvernementalité, et la critique du néolibéralisme, in Actuel Marx, 36(2), 13–26.

Levin, D. E., & Linn, S. (2004). The commercialization of childhood: Understanding the problem and finding solutions. In T. Kasser & A. D. Kanner (Eds.), Psychology and consumer culture: The struggle for a good life in a materialistic world (pp. 213–232). American Psychological Association.

Linn S (2004). Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood. New Press.

Little, J., and Hoskins, M. (2004). It’s an acceptable identity: constructing ‘girl’ at the intersections of health, media and meaning-making. Child and Youth Services, 26(2), 75–93.

Livingstone, S., & Helsper, E. (2006). Does advertising literacy mediate the effects of advertising on children? A critical examination of two linked research literatures in relation to obesity and food choice. Journal of Communication, 56(3), 560–584.

Lobstein, T. (2013). Child obesity and the junk food marketeers. In J. Wild (Ed.), Exploiting childhood: How fast food, material obsession and porn culture are creating new forms of child abuse. (pp. 49–64). Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Malmelin, N. (2010). What is Advertising Literacy? Exploring the Dimensions of Advertising Literacy. Journal of Visual Literacy, 29, 129–142.

Marsden, R. (1999). The Nature of Capital.Marx after Foucault, Routledge.

Mertala, P., & Karikoski, H., & Tähtinen, L., & Sarenius, V. (2016). The Value of Toys: 6–8 -year-old children's toy preferences and the functional analysis of popular toys. International Journal of Play, 5.

Middleton, S., Ashworth, K. and Walker, R. (1994). Family fortunes: pressures on parents and children in the 1990s, CPAG Ltd.

Mihailidis, P., & Ramasubramanian, S.,& Tully, M., & Foster B., B., & Riewestahl, E., & Johnson, P., & Angove, S. (2021). Do media literacies approach equity and justice? Journal of Media Literacy Education, 13, 1–14.

Naderer, B., Borchers, N. S., Wendt, R., & Naab, T. (2021). Editorial: Advertising Literacy: How Can Children and Adolescents Deal with Persuasive Messages in a Complex Media Environment?. MedienPädagogik: Zeitschrift für Theorie Und Praxis Der Medienbildung, 43 (Advertising Literacy), i-vi.

Nairn, A. & Berthon, P. (2003). Creating the customer. The influence of advertising on consumer market segments-Evidence and ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 42, 83–99.

Nairn, A. (2013). Arguments, bullies and feeling poor: How consumer cultures affects children’s relationships. In Wild, J. (Ed.), Exploiting childhood: How fast food, material obsession and porn culture are creating new forms of child abuse (pp. 34–48). Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Nairn, A., & Fine, C. (2008). Who’s messing with my mind? The implications of dual-process models for ethics of advertising to children. International Journal of Advertising, 27, 447–470.

Nelson, M., R. (2016). Developing Persuasion Knowledge by Teaching Advertising Literacy in Primary School. Journal of Advertising, 45(2), 169–182.

Neppl, T. K., Senia, J. M., & Donnellan, M. B. (2016). Effects of economic hardship: Testing the family stress model over time. Journal of Family Psychology, 30, 12–21.

Newman, N., and Oates, C.J. (2014). Parental mediation of food marketing communications aimed at children. International Journal of Advertising, 33(3), 579–98.

Nikolakaki, M. (ed.) (2011). Critical Pedagogy in the New Dark Ages: Challenges and Possibilities. Peter Lang.

O’Rourke, V., Miller, S.J., & Dunne, L. (2019). Increasing the Advertising Literacy of Primary School Children in Ireland: Findings from a Pilot RCT. International Journal for Digital Society.

Olson M, Fejes Α, Dahlstedt Μ and Nicoll, Κ. (2014) Citizenship discourses: Production and curriculum. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 36 (7), 1036–1053.

Oral, C., & Thurner, J.-Y. (2019). The Impact of Anti-Consumption on Consumer Well-Being. International Journal of Consumer Studies.

Pahlke, E., Bigler, R., & Martin, C. L. (2014). Can fostering children’s ability to challenge sexism improve critical analysis, internalization, and enactment of inclusive, egalitarian peer relationships? Journal of Social Issues, 70(1), 115–133.

Palan, K., & Wilkes, R., (1997). Adolescent‐Parent Interaction in Family Decision Making. Journal of Consumer Research, 24, 159–69.

Palmer, S. (2006). Toxic Childhood: how the modern world is damaging our children and what we can do about it. London: Orion.

Papanastasiou, S. & Papatheodorou, C.& Petmesidou, M. (2016).Child poverty and intergenerational poverty transmission in the EU: What is the impact of social protection policies and institutions? In Petmesidou, M., Papatheodorou, C., Delamonica E.& Aldrie H.-L. (Eds): Child Poverty, Youth (un) Employment and Social Inclusion, Stuttgart: CROP/ibidem, pp.67–89.

Papatheodorou C, Papanastasiou, S. (2017) The State of the Children in Greece Report 2017-The children of the crisis. Hellenic National Committee for UNICEF, Athens.

Papatheodorou, C. (2014) Economic crisis, poverty and deprivation in Greece: The impact of neoliberal remedies. In S. Mavroudeas (Ed) Greek capitalism in crisis: Marxist analyses, Routledge, pp. 179–195.

Papatheodorou, C. and Dafermos, Y. (2010b). Dimensions of poverty and deprivation of the workers in Greece and the Attica, Athens, Hellenic Social Policy Association (in Greek).

Papatheodorou, Ch., & Papanastasiou, S. (2017). UNICEF Report: The Situation of Children in Greece. The children of the crisis,

Parton N (2014). The Politics of Child Protection. Contemporary Developments and Future Directions. Palgrave Macmillan.

Pechtelidis, Y., and Stamou, AG. (2017). The “competent child” in times of crisis: a synthesis of Foucauldian with critical discourse analysis in Greek pre-school curricula. Palgrave Communications, 3:17065.

Petmesidou, M. (2013). Crisis and austerity: A painful watershed for the Greek welfare state, Political Insight, Political Studies Association (8 November 2013)

Piacentini, M. and Mailer, G. (2004). Symbolic consumption in teenagers’ clothing choices. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 3(3), 251–63.

Piachaud, D. (2007). Freedom to be a child: Commercial pressures on children. Social Policy and Society, 7(4), 445–456.

Powell, S., Langlands, S. and Dodd, C. (2011). Feeding children's desires? Child and parental perceptions of food promotion to the “under 8s”. Young Consumers, 12(2), 96-109.

Puchner, L., Markowitz, L., & Hedley, M. (2015). Critical media literacy and gender: Teaching middle school children about gender stereotypes and occupations. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 7(2), 23–34.

Pufall, P. and Unsworth, R. (2004). Rethinking childhood. Rutgers University Press.

Qvortrup, J. (2008). Childhood and Politics. In Citizenship Education in Society: A Challenge for the Nordic Countries. Norwegian University for Science and Technology.

Richard Elliott and Kritsadarat Wattanasuwan (1998). Consumption and the Symbolic Project of the Self. In E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 3, eds. Basil G. Englis and Anna Olofsson, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, pp. 17–20.

Richins, M., & Dawson, S. (1992). A consumer values orientation for materialism and its measurement: Scale development and validation. Journal of Consumer Research, 19, 303–316.

Robertson, T. S., Ward, S., Gatignon, H., & Klees, D. M. (1989). Advertising and children: A cross-cultural study. Communication Research, 16, 459–485.

Roedder John, D. (2002). Consumer Socialization of Children – A Retrospective look at twenty-five years of research. In Hansen F., Rasmussen J., Martensen A. & Tufte B. (Eds.) Children – Consumption, Advertising and Media, Copenhagen Business School Press, pp. 25–89.

Romagnoli, A., & Wall, G. (2012). ‘I know I'm a good mom’: Young, low-income mothers’ experiences with risk perception, intensive parenting ideology and parenting education programmes. Health, Risk & Society, 14, 273–289.

Roper, S., & Shah, B., (2007). Vulnerable consumers: The social impact of branding on children. Equal Opportunities International, 26, 712–728.

Rose, N. (1989). Governing the Soul. London: Routledge.

Sanders, R. E., Lehmann, J., & Gardner, F. (2014). Parents’ experiences of early parenthood – Preliminary findings. Children Australia, 39(3), 185–194.

Schor, J.B. (2004). Born to Buy: the Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture, Scribner, NY.

Sidebotham, P. (2001). Culture, stress and the parent–child relationship: A qualitative study of parents’ perceptions of parenting. Child: Care, Health and Development, 27(6), 469–485.

Soss, J., Fording, R., and Schram. S., (2009). Governing the Poor: The Rise of the Neoliberal Paternalist State. In Proceedings of the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Toronto, ON, Canada, 1 4 September.

Stanley, S., & Lawson, C. (2020). The effects of an advertising-based intervention on critical thinking and media literacy in third and fourth graders. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 12. 10.23860/JMLE-2020-12-1-1.

Thurer, L., S. (2007). The Myths of Motherhood. Maternal Theory: Essential Readings.Ed. Andrea O’Reilly. Toronto: Demeter Press.

Wade, T., Wilksch, S., Paxton, S., Byrne, S., & Austin, S. B. (2017). Do universal media literacy programs have an effect on weight and shape concern by influencing media internalization? International Journal of Eating Disorders. Advance online publication.

Williams, D., & Martins, N., & Consalvo, M.,& Ivory, J. (2009). The virtual census: Representations of gender, race and age in video games. New Media & Society – NEW MEDIA SOC, 11, 815–834.

Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity (2012). Trends in television food advertising to youth people: 2011 up- date. TVFoodAdvertising_5.12.pdf.


How to Cite
Papachristou, E., & Nikolakaki, M. (2022). Necessity of Implementing Advertising Literacy Programs in Preschool Curricula in Debt-Ridden Greecechool Curricula in Debt-Ridden Greece. European Journal of Education and Pedagogy, 3(3), 135–146.