Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers

Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers

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by Alissa Quart

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Generation Y has grown up in an age of the brand, bombarded by name products. In Branded, Alissa Quart illuminates the unsettling new reality of marketing to teenagers, as well as the quieter but no less worrisome forms of teen branding: the teen consultants who work for corporations in exchange for product; the girls obsessed with cosmetic surgery who will do

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Generation Y has grown up in an age of the brand, bombarded by name products. In Branded, Alissa Quart illuminates the unsettling new reality of marketing to teenagers, as well as the quieter but no less worrisome forms of teen branding: the teen consultants who work for corporations in exchange for product; the girls obsessed with cosmetic surgery who will do anything to look like women on TV; and those teens simply obsessed with admission into a name-brand college. We also meet the pockets of kids attempting to turn the tables on the cocksure corporations that so cynically strive to manipulate them. Chilling, thought-provoking, even darkly amusing, Branded brings one of the most disturbing and least talked about results of contemporary business and culture to the fore-and ensures that we will never look at today's youth the same way again.

Editorial Reviews

Women's Review of Books
Quart's style is smart and sassy...a frightening and important book.
The Los Angeles Times
Quart makes it clear that being wary of advertising should be one of those childhood cautions, along with don't talk to strangers, and that it is our job to instruct our children, rather than stand by and wring our hands. She is right: There are people who are hellbent on buying your child's soul for the price of a hip new look. Branded is a cogent wake-up call for both generations. — Karen Stabiner
Dallas Morning News
Help[s] adults psychoanalyze the buying habits of their offspring.
New York Times
Deserves to command wide attention among millions of families...Quart makes a brilliant case...[and] her book is a necessary warning for parents.
Harvard Business Review
Quart makes a solid case that marketers have honed their approach to teens.
New York Post
[A] fascinating, highly readable, cultural study...Branded succeeds at exactly what the companies it chastises can only dream of: multigenerational approval.
Washington Post Book World
Quart excels in capturing the chirpy, soulless avarice that tends to characterize today's hyper-predatory kiddie-peddlers.
Santa Fe New Mexican
Quart has Gen X sensibilities that enable her to skeptically dissect the intentions of Madison Avenue as teens are mined and manipulated.
July 13, 2003
Publishers Weekly
For the readers still waiting for a substantive follow-up to Naomi Klein's No Logo, this is the book. Quart, a former media columnist for the Independent, follows the bread-crumb trail from the Fourth Annual Advertising and Promotion to Kids conference (no joke, unfortunately) to the mechanics of "peer-to-peer marketing," product placement in video games and the ever-escalating parties of the "bar mitzvah showcase." She hones in on teens' delicate self-fashioning and how it's manipulated for profit by adult "teen trendspotters" who insinuate themselves into the lives of "Influencer" teens in order to cop "youth buzz." Quart is brilliant on the world in which teens "obsessed with brand names feel they have a lack that only superbranding will cover over." She gets great quotes in her first-person encounters with her mostly female subjects, giving the book real voice. And Quart's analyses-of teen movies, SAT tutoring (to improve scores and pose college choices as brands), teen SUV ownership and the role of parents-are sharp and funny. Her exploration of how teens internalize and express market logic-through a process of "self-branding" that can include teen boob jobs and kid-produced anorexia Weblogs-is original and striking. The book lacks a broad cultural perspective: most interviewees are white, middle class and female, so it's difficult for Quart to generalize about how American teens and tweens as a whole use money and products to define themselves. Nevertheless, by the end, readers should be able to spot certain youth demographics and deconstruct their branded worlds instantaneously-and with empathy and anger. Agent, Peter McGuigan. (Feb. 1)

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Basic Books
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Art of Mentoring Series
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5.20(w) x 7.95(h) x 0.70(d)

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2.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
ThelmaL More than 1 year ago
Alissa Quart writes in her book, Branded, that teenagers nowadays pay too much attention to brand names and what they see on advertisements. I do agree with Quarts about the fact that teenagers nowadays do care about brands and looking like their favorite movie starts or models, however, I do not agree that it is as big of a deal as it is made out to be in this book. I feel like Quarts made it seem like every girl cares about brands and every girl gets cosmetic surgery, while in reality, I don’t know one teenager who has gotten cosmetic surgery before and most teenagers nowadays do not care to have EVERY piece of clothing of theirs as a brand. They may have one brand here or there, but not everything is a famous brand name. I thought that this book started off with a great idea, however it was pretty boring to read. The entire book was basically the exact same thing. Throughout the whole thing, all it would do is have a statistic and then have examples to back up why that statistic makes sense. It never told a story or anything where you could lead it back to yourself. Every page simply was a new statistic and new information you had to try to comprehend.  
AmoretteM More than 1 year ago
Quart carefully shaped her opinion of the matter in such a particular and urgent way, one that makes me incredibly aware of my surroundings. Being a teenager transitioning to a young adult, I'm more aware of what is "appropriate to wear" and what isn't. Most of the appropriate wardrobe is that of expensive brand names, to somehow fit myself into this box of some image that really isn't me. She elaborates on the media's conniving ways of getting their brands and names out there, almost in a sickly obsessive manner. Quart presents an important issue that is one I will always be aware of.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AliciainMcIntyrescc6 More than 1 year ago
Alissa Quart writes about the medias influence over teens and the way they choose to spend their money. I do think that tv shows depicting wealthy teens dressed head to toe in desinger clothes having the time of their lives can be missleading for young teens. Seeing shows like Sex in The City or Gossip Girl might make a pre-teen feel like they need those labels to live a life like Carrie Bradshaw's. I agree kids are growing up faster than usual, wearing clothes their parents would wear, but not all teens are obsessed with brands, so i do dissagree with Quart when she trys to stereotype ALL teens.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers by Alissa Quart is a wake up call that shows just how much teens are the target of advertising. From video games to book covers at school, teens and tweens are force fed advertisements. The sad thing is that kids actually give into it and become walking billboards. They do anything and everything to get the best brand of clothing and even into some of the most prestegious colleges. Although many teens give into this advertising pressure and become corprate sell outs, some teens fight against the propaganda. These teens fight to get advertising, such as name brand soda machines, out of their schools. They say that they're there to learn school things, not corprate dogma. Whether it's advertising in schools or product placement in movies, the pressure to be branded is constantly surrounding us. Overall I thought Branded was a fairly good read, not the best, but good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
reading it at school. it's HORRIBLE! I hated it right from the beginning. It doesn't even have a good issue but even if it did she didnt need to write 300 pages about it. There are too many statistics and it isnt interesting or attention grabbing or anything. I'm from Australia and it didnt relate to me at all. The 'generation slut' part was just offending
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a joke. I had to read it for a summer reading project and hated every minute of it. Quart is unsupported in her studies with no sources. The book is passed as relevant to all teenagers, but in reality it is a study of Upper-East side, caucasion girls. Also, I found it laughable how there is a whole chapter called 'Logo U' where she criticies teens for wanting to go to 'name brand' colleges, but she attended Brown and Columbia! I could complain about this book a lot more, however I think I'll save you the time and just say: Don't read it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As i dont live in America i cant comment on the relativity of this text to the youth of today. however,according to my context as an Australian 17yr old, i can relate to SOME of the points that Quart makes. alike other critics, i can see how she has chosen specific quotes to back up her arguments, though i suspect this is just a sign of her journalistic talents being used to prove a point. Overall, i think that she makes some good points however, the book would have made more of an impact on the reader if the length was shortened.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i think that this is a terrible book which tries to expose teens as 'victims' of corporations. quart does a terrible job in proving her arguments, there were no cited sources, and in fact she didnt even support her own thesis. dont waste your time with this book, believe me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is horrible. It is just her opinions and it stereotypes all teens, not all teens are like that. Plus when she uses a source, there is not any citations and who writes a paragraph that is all quotes. This book is a disgrace to journalist all ove the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book 'Branded' by Alissa Quart failed to provide an unbiased objective view of teenagers. All of her studies, half of which were not credited, were taken in New York City, where culture differs from the whole country. By making these one-sided judgements, Quart brands all teens, unjustly painting them as selfish, materialistic brats. The ideas in this book, particularily pertaining to plastic surgery are ridiculous, to say the least. The next time Quart decides to write a book on something she knows nothing about, she should at least learn how to explore and cite the proper sources.