WATCH ABOVE: It’s that time of the year when malls put their best foot forward to attract the most shoppers, but one back to school ad is raising eyebrows. Felicia Parrillo reports.
POINTE-CLAIRE – Back to school can be a hectic time for kids and parents alike – running around town for school supplies, making sure the kids get to school on time, preparing lunches, and of course, making sure they have some good clothes to wear.
At the end of each summer, malls and stores across the country think up new and creative campaigns to entice us to shop at their store and wear their clothes.
This year, Fairview Pointe-Claire has come out with a back to school campaign ad that has some people talking.
It features silhouettes that appear to be children wearing different kinds of clothes, accompanied by the headline “Who will you be?”
“I think that the ad reflects general marketing practices in fashion,” said Jackson Wightman, a marking expert.
“These general marketing practices for the fashion industry have long and always tied the fact that style is a form of expression and expression is a form of identity.”
The ad campaign is posted throughout the mall and is making the rounds on social media.
“As kids get into the older years of the school age period, and into the early years of high school, questions about dress, what they’re going to look like, these become big issues,” explained William Bukowski, a Psychology Professor at Concordia University.
“You can understand why marketers like Fairview mall are going to try to capture some of the market.”
Some shoppers were upset that the mall targeted children and teens in their ad.
Craig McDevitt, a father of two told Global News it seems that the mall is ” trying to pigeon hole people into certain styles.”
Quebec’s consumer protection act clearly states that commercial advertisement cannot be directed at persons under the age of 13 – but the office said they will only investigate if a complaint is filed.
Fairview declined Global News’ request for an interview, but said “following the broadcast tonight, we will react accordingly if need be.”