CCFC Blog

A Source of Solace, Not Ad Revenue – This Miami Herald article, quoting CCFC's Susan Linn, criticizes a proposal in Miami to allow advertising in public parks.  The author concludes, “To accommodate a plethora of commercial imagery in county parks is to fill them with visual pollution. The premise of the commercial culture is that buying things will make us happier. But no purchase is enough to achieve happiness. Instead, an encounter with nature—without an assault by this culture of consumerism—offers life's best gift.” http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/08/28/1796085/a-source-of-solace-not-ad-revenue.html Kids in Their Sights – Canada’s Financial Post details the global political struggle...
According to newspaper reports, researchers are exploring links between a girlhood characterized by “princess culture,” and womanhood fraught with narcissism, materialism, and overspending. No adult behavior can be explained solely by one thing—human beings are complicated creatures. But these researchers are on to something. We pass cultural values on through the stories we tell and the toys we give to children. The messages they take away from what they see, hear, and experience contribute to their understanding of the world and how it works. Much has been written about the negative impact of impossibly built fashion dolls on how girls conceptualize beauty, and how they feel about their bodies. For many parents, the Disney Princesses...
Digital Diversions Leave Teens, Parents Sleep-Deprived – New study shows that 80% of adolescents don’t get enough sleep, even though 90% of parents think they do. The study finds that “digital diversions,” like cell phones, are major factors of the sleep deprivation, which is supported by the finding that 4 out of 5 teens sleep with their mobile phones and wake up to respond to text messages. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/23/AR2010082305482.html Princess Culture Turning Girls Into Overspending Narcissists – A commercial culture that tells girls they can be Disney princesses by purchasing products gives way to narcissistic adults and loads of credit card debt, say researchers...
The inevitable late summer plague has arrived. No, I’m not talking about mosquitoes, or poison ivy, or humidity. I’m talking about the back-to-school fashion frenzy. The buzz this year is about “interactivity." Shopping is now supposed to be ever so much more than interacting with our wallets. Some stores offer shopping sprees to “haulers,” kids who show off their purchases on YouTube. Others encourage them to play disc jockey on life size MP3 players when they walk in. Even clothes themselves have to be interactive. There’s some brand promoting different shaped stick-on patches so that kids can personalize their garments (“But mom, everyone is personalizing this year. If I don’t personalize, I won’t look like everybody else.”) And then...
Fashion: School Shoppers Giving a Lesson in Individualism – Marketers target children will back-to-school marketing ploys that tout individualism and expression. http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-living/ci_15816161?nclick_check=1 Aisle by Aisle, an App That Pushes Bargains – A new location-based phone app called Shopkick follows customers around the mall and markets to them by rewarding them with points as they enter stores, move to the cash registers, and even while they’re in the dressing room!  The points can be redeemed for such things as store coupons or to buy virtual goods on Facebook.  In addition to stores like Best Buy and American Eagle Outfitters, Simon Property Group, the prominent mall...
Suit Alleges Disney, Other Top Sites Spied on Users - A lawsuit filed in federal court last week alleges that a group of well-known Web sites, including those owned by Disney, Warner Bros. Records, and Demand Media, broke the law by secretly tracking the Web movements of their users, including children. http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-20013672-261.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20 Would Kids Eat Fruits and Veggies To Get a Free Fast-Food Toy? – Proposed legislation in San Francisco would allow fast food toys only with meals that have better nutritional quality. http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2010/08/12/would-kids-eat-fruits-and-veggies-to-get-a-free-fast-food-toy/ Do These Jeans...
This past March, soft drink giant PepsiCo announced with much fanfare a new global school policy. The specific guidelines, to take effect by 2012, limit the types of beverages that are to be sold in schools. According to the press release, the policy will "stop sales of full-sugar soft drinks to primary and secondary schools." That's why the announcement last week that Union County High School in Indiana was signing on to a brand new five-year contract with Pepsi (thereby ending its exclusive contract with Coca-Cola) came as a surprise. Not the contract itself, but what one school official had to say about it. From the news article: The new contract is expected to earn the high school and middle  school and booster groups $20,000 more...
With schools facing unprecedented budget shortfalls and teacher layoffs, it’s not surprising that so many are considering what just a couple of years ago would have been unthinkable: allowing corporate advertising in their schools. The San Diego Union Tribune reports that the Sweetwater Union High School District has signed a contract with a company called 4 Visual Media Group to allow advertising on its cafeterias, hallways, and school buses. Meanwhile, schools in the Twin Cities area are signing up with a new company called School Media’s to place ads on children’s lockers. Who are these companies that hope to profit off of schools’ fiscal crises? Let’s start with 4 Visual Media Group. I stumbled upon their website six months ago when...
S.F. Proposal: Healthier Kids Meals or No Toys – San Francisco follows Santa Clara County and proposes ban on junk food toys. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2010/08/11/MNJG1ES4M2.DTL Girls at Comic-Con Find Marketers Ready for Them – Toy makers used this year’s Comic-Con to show off their new brands targeted at girls, including Hasbro’s Strawberry Shortcake (who will have a show on Hasbro’s new children’s TV network, the HUB, launching this fall) and Mattel’s Monster High, a brand based on sexualized characters around which the company is planning an “entertainment juggernaut.”  Mattel’s Monster High dolls, clothing line, and electronics are already available, webisodes are online, a...
Senate Passes Child Nutrition Act – The Senate unanimously passes the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which aims to improve school nutrition programs, and which--if the regulation passes and the USDA enforces the rule--will ban junk food sales both in school cafeteria lines and vending machines. http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/senate-passes-child-nutrition-act/Twin Cities: This Education Brought to You By ..?  Public school districts in Minnesota turning to an advertiser-sponsored model.  CCFC’s Josh Golin and Parents for Ethical Marketing’s Lisa Ray explain why forcing children to look at corporate ads in school is not an acceptable solution to school budget problems....

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