No Logo, this is the book. Quart, a former media columnist for the
 

BRANDED: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers

Alissa Quart, Author
Alissa Quart, Author . Perseus $25 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7382-0664-6
Paperback - 247 pages - 978-0-7382-0862-6
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-09-945806-7
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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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