CCFC educates the public about commercialism's impact on kids' wellbeing and advocates for the end of child-targeted marketing.
Why is CCFC Needed?
The rise of ubiquitous, sophisticated, and portable screen technologies allows marketers unprecedented direct access to children. At the same time, key policies and agencies created to protect kids from harmful marketing have been weakened. The result is a commercialized culture causing harm to children. Childhood obesity, eating disorders, youth violence, sexualization, family stress, underage alcohol and tobacco use, rampant materialism, and the erosion of creative play are all exacerbated by advertising and marketing. And when children adopt the values that dominate commercial culture—materialism, self-indulgence, conformity, impulse buying, and unthinking brand loyalty—the health of democracy and sustainability of our planet are threatened.
What We Do
Founded in 2000 by Dr. Susan Linn and a group of educators, health care professionals, and parents, CCFC has built a powerful movement to end the exploitive practice of marketing to children and promote a modern childhood shaped by what’s best for kids, not corporate profits. Our advocacy is grounded in the overwhelming evidence that child-targeted marketing undermines healthy development and the belief that society bears responsibility for, and benefits immeasurably from, the wellbeing of children. We work to reduce marketers’ access to children through a variety of tactics and approaches. Our Theory of Change is outlined below.
Changing attitudes: CCFC’s campaigns change egregious marketing practices and stigmatize companies that target children. Through extensive media coverage, we raise public awareness about the harms of advertising to children. Our Consuming Kids Summits host researchers, parents, educators, health professionals and activists committed to reclaiming childhood from corporate marketers.
Changing how children spend their time: CCFC is at the forefront of national efforts to reduce children’s screen time and insure children time and space for active and creative play, face time with caring adults, and a connection with nature. We’ve organized an extensive coalition of professional and advocacy organizations working to reduce children’s screen time. We’re the official home of Screen-Free Week, celebrated each year in communities around the world. Our campaigns to stop false and deceptive marketing by the “genius baby” industry have led to significant changes, including an unprecedented refund from Disney on Baby Einstein videos and a landmark ruling by the FTC against Your Baby Can Read.
Changing children’s environments: We help parents and educators advocate for commercial-free space for children, with a special focus on schools. We target advertisers that exploit a captive audience of students, and work for policies to preserve schools and school buses as commercial-free zones. We develop resources for creating commercial-free environments at home and at school.
Changing rules: CCFC advocates for local, state, and federal policies that limit corporate marketers’ access to children. We regularly submit petitions to the FTC and FCC and file comments aimed at enforcing and strengthening current regulations.