Arrrr, Mateys! Verizon’s Done It Again!

Ahoy There, Readers — Have you seen this ad? From the folks who brought you the ap (or network, or whatever) that allows you to track your teen daughter’s ever step at the mall comes:

Talk about raising resilient kids who can roll with the punches! Talk about getting your priorities straight! Talk about having a memorable birthday party, thanks to an unsuspecting cowboy the wee pirates could truss to a tree!

Anyway, everything I’d like to say about this spot — and world — has been said already with great gusto by Tom Henderson at ParentDish. And so, I give you his matey — er, meaty — essay while I go walk the metaphoric plank that is Monday morning. — Lenore

Excuse Me? You Need a “Family Locator” To Track Your Tween at the Mall?

Hi Readers — Well, here it is. The ad that a bunch of you alerted me to this week. It shows a mom and daughter in a mall, near an escalator. The mom is letting her daughter shop “on her own” for the first time.  (“On her own” turns out to mean with two friends, who are waiting right at the bottom of the escalator.)  The girl is 3.

No, I jest. The girl looks to be 11 or 12. That’s what makes this ad so ridiculous. Because by the time the girl is at the bottom of the escalator, greeting her friends, her mother has already activated her phone’s “Family Locator” to make sure she can track her baby’s every move.

Why? Does she really need to know when her daughter dips into The Gap, or moseys over to The Body Shop? Or is she worried that her daughter and friends are going to be kidnapped in plain sight, in one of those rare triple snatchings? Or maybe mom fears they’re just pretending to shop, but really auditioning for a strip club? Or taking drugs? Or selling drugs? (And if so: How would that look any different from going to the bathroom on the Family Locator?)

The ad gushes that mom is lucky to have such reliable Verizon service, because this is “when it matters the most.”

Really? If this is when it matters most — when your kid is in plain sight, with friends, in a public place — then the service must not matter at all, because in this situation it is completely unnecessary.  The girl is safe. The only thing in danger is mom’s monthly paycheck, being deftly plucked from her pocket by Verizon.  — Lenore