CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT MIKA BRZEZINSKI REPORTS ON A NEW MARKETING STRATEGY TARGETING YOUNG GIRLS --
ON "60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY"
CBS News correspondent Mika Brzezinski reports that there are 25 million "tweens" -- kids ages eight to 13 -- in the United States, and a growing number of them are being targeted by savvy marketers. Although the "tweens" cannot drive or vote and most can't even go to the mall by themselves, they could potentially be the most powerful group of consumers since the baby boom. Brzezinski's report will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY on Dec. 15 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. This is the first of several reports Brzezinski will contribute to the broadcast this season.
Eleven-year-old Sofia Mandel is a secret agent, and her mission is to host a slumber party for her closest friends. The event starts with a sealed box that is filled with never-before-seen products designed to produce a feeding frenzy among "tween" girls. The box is strategically placed at the agent's home by a marketing firm called the GIA (Girls' Intelligence Agency). Laura Groppe, GIA's chief executive officer, tells Brzezinski why Sophia is a good secret agent. "If Sophia has given some indication that something's hot, her friends are going to listen and respond and probably go and buy one." Despite criticisms that marketers are reducing the power of parents and manipulating young girls, Groppe has spent a lot of time cultivating as many as 40,000 "agents" across the country. "It's not easy," says Groppe. "It's taken many, many years. It's through girlfriends, telling girlfriends, and then we have to approve them before we can advocate to our clients that we are going to go into the bedroom of this girl�.Important strategic business decisions are being made off of this eight-year-old and her friends. We have to make sure she's the right one."
Josh Howard is the executive producer of 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY and Kim Kennedy is the producer of this report.