GFC hits kids’ hip pocket

By AdNews | 25 September 2009

Children have 15% less buying power then last year, but still have an average of $550 a year of disposable income, according to a recent survey.

The survey by kids channel Cartoon Network, found the average seven to 14-year-old has an income of $10.52 a week, while 13 and 14-year-olds receive $15.61 a week, or more than $800 a year.

Cartoon Network research manager Peter Hammer said the economic downturn had affected the hip pocket of children with 59% of parents saying they gave their kids pocket money, down sharply from 68% last year.

The New Gens study, in its seventh year, spoke to 2000 households of parents and their children aged seven to 14 in July and August to record their values, aspirations, media habits, pocket money, product consumption habits, options, preferences and influence on their parents.

The uptake of the internet continues to grow with 50% of those surveyed saying they use it everyday for gaming, social networking and music downloads. One in three uses a social networking site.

“When asked if they had brought products online, 29% of kids claimed they had,” Hammer said. “Older kids were more likely to participate online and while most kids said they needed to have online purchasing facilitated by parents, they were using parents’ credit cards or their PayPal accounts to do the transactions themselves.

“We found that 10% of parents of kids aged seven to 14 let them do transactions on a credit card without supervision, while 11% let them use PayPal, eWallet or other systems.”

On the list of issues that concerned children, they were most worried about the
global financial crisis, which rated higher than the environment and climate change.

Kids said they are worried about job prospects, with 8% of seven to 14-year-olds claiming they were worried about what sort of job they were going to have, it increased to 10% for 11 to 14-year-olds.

“We found kids are talking about gaming consoles like Nintendo DS,” Hammer said. “In the toy area, Bakugan shot up in comparison to last year, Ben Ten was popular and a new entry was RipSticks.”

Helen Schuller

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