The Hello Kitty phone is coming . . . your daughter will want one
Technology is combining with trends, so now your daughter is a target of mobile phones (if she is older then 9) or your girlfriend if she is in favour of the brand.
Mobile phones branded with the popular children’s character Hello Kitty are due to hit the high street in July, prompting parental fears over the marketing of phones at the youngest in society.
Health fears persist about mobile phone use by children, with an authoritative report in 2005 concluding that 9 to 14-year-olds should make only short, essential calls. The report by Sir William Stewart said that children under 8 should not use mobile phones at all.
Products with Hello Kitty cartoon cat images are aimed at children as young as five. Parenting experts said last night that children would pressurise adults to buy the phone, which can be bought online for $599 (£310), as a fashion accessory.
Oxford-based firm Comment Retail Service won the contract with manufacturer Sanrio for the exclusive licence to produce the phone in Britain and Ireland.
They said the phones would appeal to women in their 20s and 30s but child safety campaigners said the move was “exploiting children”.
Sue Palmer, author of advice book Detoxing Childhood, said: “A Hello Kitty phone would concern me considerably. The products are very pink and very attractive to young girls.
“It is very irresponsible. They need a new market and they are exploiting children.”