Doing the facebook rounds is the “Checkout 4 Schools”. The Checkout is a program on the ABC that uses comedy to reveal the scams and marketing tricks whilst highlighting your rights as a consumer. Between this program and “Gruen”, also on the ABC, you can get a reasonable insight into the way people are manipulated and perhaps why we have such a large personal debt issue in Australia. As well as being entertained.
This new Checkout schools show is similar to how the wiggles started their career visiting schools and building a following one school at a time. I can’t quite see a million dollar empire being created from a Consumer law program but considering the law backgrounds of many of the presenters on the program it is probably a good way for them to pay off some of their Law Degree Hex debts during the programs off season.
You wont find it on the ABC’s site as it is a commercial enterprise valued at $899, lets call it $900, for a one-hour show. Considering a school can have up to 240 students attending the show that’s $3.75 per child. If it manages to get kids thinking about their rights, that’s not bad value.
The need for a program like this does demonstrate that the world is a very “scammy” place. There are many people and companies looking to take advantage wherever they can and rip you off. Government funded watchdogs are increasingly being given more power to deal with anyone trying to take an unfair advantage and people are not as aware of their rights as they should be. Even the big Banks have in more recent times been reined in and dealt hefty fines with forced changes to their work practices to better protect disadvantaged people.
It is a buyer beware world and getting the message to kids early may stop a lot of marketing induced spending dependencies that may plague them for a lifetime. In particular the issues with fast money and dodgy payment schemes, that encourage us to enjoy now and pay later, and later, and later.
It may be for schools but parents will be the ones asked to fit the bill for this program. Unfortunately like art, music and sport the education system tends to push these categories into a user pays model as an extra curriculum activity requiring parental pockets for sustainability.
Perhaps the ABC will record the project and make it available for free to remote schools.