After a national grassroots campaign led by the Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children coalition (SCEC), Scholastic Inc. has withdrawn its support for next month’s Golden Marble Awards in New York. The nation’s leading educational publisher (and publisher of the best-selling Harry Potter books), Scholastic was listed as a corporate sponsor of the Golden Marbles, which celebrate artistry in children’s marketing without questioning the ethics of marketing to children. The Awards are hosted by Kidscreen magazine.
Scholastic CEO Richard Robinson wrote, “We wanted to let you know that Scholastic will not be a sponsor this year for the Kidscreen Conference. We appreciate your recognition that Scholastic has a long tradition of providing high quality products and services to teachers, children and parents. This is why I wanted to respond directly and to let you know our plans about the conference.”
“Scholastic set a good example,” says Joe Kelly, executive director of SCEC member organization Dads and Daughters. “It’s simply wrong to celebrate the multi-billion dollar flood of marketing targeting children without regard to its impact on their well being.” Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children and Dads and Daughters organized a national email campaign encouraging members and allies to write and urge Robinson to pull Scholastic out of its Golden Marbles sponsorship. “Now, we urge concerned parents to write again,” Kelly says. “Let’s thank Scholastic for its responsible decision and urge that they heighten corporate awareness of marketing’s effect on children.” Write CEO Richard Robinson, Scholastic, Inc., 555 Broadway New York, NY 10012 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCEC memberDr. Diane Levin, author of Remote Control Childhood? Combating the Hazards of Media Culture, says, “The ad industry’s increasingly sophisticated strategies for marketing to children contribute to a host of serious health and social problems. Corporations, parents -- and everyone who should be concerned about children -- must now take a stand.”
Kelly adds, “We also hope the Golden Marbles other sponsors -- Leo Burnett, Columbia Pictures, Ogilvy & Mather, The Regan Group, 141 Communications, Grey Worldwide, The Creative Couch, YTV, Topix, EYES Post Group, Louder Music and Sound Design, Starcom, ‘boards, Adforum.com and Portfolios.com – will follow Scholastic’s lead and drop the Golden Marbles.”