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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Another Great Radio Cliché

Peter Day presents the excellent In Business on Radio Four. Just caught tonight's which is about marketing to teenagers: lots of blasé voices claiming to have cracked the code of what today's young people want and hoping to sell their expertise to panic-stricken brands. Anyway, this programme had one of the signature clichés of all radio programmes that deal with youth - the panel. This will always consist of one girl, one boy and one person with an identifiably "ethnic" accent or name. This trio will always say the same things: grown-ups patronise us, we're not impressed by that kind of thing, we only respond to things that are really subtle etc etc. The recourse to the panel is rooted in the the mistaken belief that people in their teens are more homogenous than people in their forties. It will also have fallen foul of the fact that people in the media only know other people in the media and therefore one of the children will have an amusing first name and a parent who runs a major media company. This did both.