Popping out a baby is no Mickey Mouse experience—even though Disney would like it to be. Sales reps gone Goofy and laden with Disney products are invading maternity wards across the nation to turn very tiny Americans just hours old into cartoon character consumers. Reps at 580 hospitals are offering moms within hours of giving birth a free Disney Cuddly Bodysuit for their babe if they sign up for company email alerts. "Suddenly, the delivery room command to 'push' has a whole new meaning," complains Peggy Ohrenstein on NPR.
"Can't parents and their children have the magic without the Magic Kingdom?" Ohrenstein has written a book about how her daughter's childhood has been dogged by the cloying pink-tuttued vision of femininity spawned by Walt Disney. Now the pressure is on even younger. "Studies show that children under 8 can't distinguish between ads and entertainment. That gives marketers an unfair—not to mention predatory—advantage over our kids," writes Ohrenstien.