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Tuesday, 25 April, 2000, 16:36 GMT 17:36 UK
Children should be heard... in the boardroom

Should business whizkids literally be kids?
Just about worked out the difference between a bull market and a bear market? Well, in the boardroom it's knowing your Pikachu from your Squirtle that counts these days.

Caught on the hop by the Pokémon craze which has swept the nation's playgrounds, bosses at supermarket giant Tesco have brought in a seven-year-old consultant to advise them.
Pokémon stars Pikachu and Ash
One man and his electric rat, Pikachu

Laurie Sleator was spotted by store managers explaining the intricacies of the Japanese characters and the collecting cards, cartoons and computer games in which they feature.

With the Pokémon industry worth an estimated Ł6bn a year, Laurie was whisked off to bring his expert knowledge to bear on Tesco's baffled marketing executives.

Big business has long been criticised for aggressively marketing its products for children, hoping to harness "pester power" to boost sales.

Perhaps the traffic should not all be one way. Laurie and his peers might even be able to teach managers a thing or two.

BBC News Online has given three eight-year-olds the opportunity to have their say on the car industry, dot.com businesses and the Millennium Dome.


Samuel Welsh gives some advice to help car manufacturers boost their sales.

My ideal car would be a sports car. Maybe a Mercedes because they're fast. My mum's friend has got one.
Mercedes
"Radio? Check. Pokémon card holder? Check. Gold paint? Eh... "

I'd like it to look like a police car, only without the sirens and a different colour. Cars should be gold. Gold stands out to a lot of people and you'd be able to see the car from far away.

I'd like the car to be fast. It would have to go at 50 or 100mph.

I'd only want two seats, but of course I'd need somewhere for my mum and dad to sit.

It would have to have a roof that comes off when you touch a button. I'd also have a phone and a radio.

It's important to have somewhere to put my Pokémon cards. I think there would have to be a place behind the radio to keep them safe.


Joe Eason has given some thought to the dot.com revolution and come up with some ideas for the barons of e-commerce.

I'd like to see things about books on the internet, especially non-fiction books telling the stories of people who have been on adventures.
Submarine
All aboard for a last minute adventure

I want to go on adventures. I'd go to the bottom of the ocean in a big submarine. It would be good if someone offered you the chance to go on a trip like that on the internet.

I'd like to use the internet to talk to children from other countries, like America. I'd tell them about where I go to school and the big things I've done, like going on stage.

I like musicals. I was given the music from Cats and Joseph as presents. If I bought more music I'd rather get it off the internet than from the shops.

Shops are always full of people and you have to queue up to pay. With the internet you should have more choice and be able to buy something just by pushing a button.


Sam Millington has visited the Millennium Dome and has this advice for bosses at the beleaguered attraction.

When we went four weeks ago, we saw everything except two parts. There were thousands of people and we had to wait in queues sometimes.
Chips
The chips are down at the Dome

I got bored waiting, although some of the queues moved faster than we thought they were going to. There were magicians near the queue. They were painted grey and weren't very good.

My favourite bit was the Body Zone. I didn't know much about how my body worked before, so it was very interesting.

There should be a place to take babies where they can have fun while their parents are in the Dome.

I had a cheeseburger and chips, but they were cooked too much. I like them a bit limp.

We had to take a million trains to get there, well ten trains. The last one was bumpy so I enjoyed it.

I think other people should go. I'd like to go back again and see all the things I missed last time.

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03 Nov 99 | Education
Pupils used for market research
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