A Statement on the Rights of Children, Families, and Food Marketers

Major food companies, such as Kraft, Kellogg's and General Mills, have joined with the advertising industry to form the Alliance for American Advertising, a lobbying group "to defend the right to advertise to children."

In response, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has drafted a Statement on the Rights of Children, Families, and Food Marketers. The statement has already been endorsed by leading experts in child development, nutrition, and public health, as well as more than 50 organizations that advocate for children.

Please take a moment to add your name to the statement and join the growing alliance of those who value children more than the bottom line.

A Statement on the Rights of Children, Families, and Food Marketers

In response to the growing call for restrictions on marketing to children, major food companies, such as Kraft, Kellogg's and General Mills, have joined with the advertising industry to form the Alliance for American Advertising, a lobbying group "to defend the right to advertise to children."

It is alarming that, in the face of mounting evidence of harm associated with advertising to children, industry leaders are choosing to emphasize their rights without a commensurate focus on their responsibilities.

There is no absolute right to advertise to children. Children, as both common sense and the law recognize, deserve special protections because of their developmental vulnerabilities.

Children are bombarded with marketing every waking moment. Marketing is a factor in childhood obesity, eating disorders, and a wide range of other ills affecting children.

We believe that children have the right to grow up in a safe and healthy environment; that parents have the right to raise their children without being undermined by corporate marketers; that schools, communities, and nations, if they deem it necessary, have the right to restrict commercial access to children. Marketers do not have the right to exploit children for profit.

Advertisers and the food industry should focus on their responsibilities to children. We call on them to dissolve the Alliance for American Advertising and we pledge to step up our efforts on behalf of those who value children more than the bottom line.

Individual Signatories Include:

Allen Kanner, PhD, co-editor, Psychology and Consumer Culture
Alex Molnar, PhD, Director, Commercialism in Education Research Unit, Arizonia State University*
Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School*, Judge Baker Children’s Center*
Ann Easterbrooks, Professor of Child Development, Tufts University*
Arnold Fege, President, Public Advocacy for Kids
Ben Kelley, adjunct faculty member, Tufts School of Medicine Department of Public Health and Family Medicine;* director, Public Health Advocacy Institute Motor Vehicle Hazards Archive Project*
Barbara Scott, Associate Professor of Nutrition, University of Nevada*
Cara B. Ebbeling, Phd, Research Associate, Children’s Hospital Boston*
Charles Willie, Professor Emeritus, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University*
Craig A. Anderson, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Iowa State University*
David Elkind, PhD, Professor of Child Development, Tufts University*
Dorothy Singer, EdD, Senior Research Scientist, Department of Psychology and Child Study Center, Yale      University*
David Marshak, EdD, Professor of Education, University of Seattle
David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD, Director, Obesity Program, Children’s Hospital Boston*; Associate Professor, Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School*
Diane Levin, PhD, Professor of Education, Wheelock College*, author Remote Control Childhood
Ellen J. Fried JD, MA, Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, Dept of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health, New York University*
Eric Schlosser, author, Fast Food Nation
Fern Gale Estrow, MS, RD, CDN, Nutritionist
Gary Auld, PhD, RD, Associate Professor, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Colorado State University*
Harold Goldstein, DrPH, Executive Director, California Center for Public Health Advocacy
Howard Gardner, PhD
Huguette Turgeon O'Brien, PhD, DtP, Professor of Human Nutrition, Université Laval, Quebec*
James W. Prescott, PhD, Institute of Humanistic Science*
Jane Levine, EdD, Co-founder, Kids Can Make a Difference
Jean Kilbourne, EdD, author of Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think
Jim Metrock, president, Obligation, Inc.*
Joan Dye Gussow, Professor Emeritus of Nutrition and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University* 
Joan Orr, Project Director, Maine Center for Public Health*
Joanne Cantor, PhD, Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin-Madison*, author, Mommy, I’m Scared
John Ruby, DMD, PhD, School of Dentistry, The University of Alabama at Birmingham*
John Weisz, PhD, ABPP, President, Judge Baker Children’s Center*
Juliet Schor, PhD, Professor of Sociology, Boston College*, author, Born to Buy
Katherine Heintz-Knowles, PhD, President, Children's Media Research and Consulting*
Margit McGuire, PhD, Professor of Teacher Education, University of Seattle*
Maria C. Gonzalez-Cerra, MD, FAAP, Rhinelander, Wisconsin
Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University* author, Food Politics
Martha Vibbert, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine*
Marjorie Fields, PhD, Professor of Child Development, University of Alaska*
Michael Brody, MD, Chair, Television and Media Committee, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry*
Micheline Beaudry, PhD, Professor of Public Nutrition, Université Laval, Quebec*
Michele Simon, JD, MPH, University of California, Hastings College of the Law*
Nancy Carlsson Paige, EdD, Professor of Education, Lesley University*
Noam Chomsky, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology*
Peggy Agron, MA, RD, Public Health Nutritionist, Sacremento, CA
Peggy O'Mara, Publisher/Editor, Mothering Magazine*
Priscilla Hambrick Dixon, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education, Hunter College*
Richard A. Daynard, JD, PhD, Northeastern University School of Law*
Robert Lane, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Yale University*
Robert McChesney, PhD, author, The Problem of the Media
Roberta R. Friedman, ScM, Massachusetts Public Health Association*
Ronald Cohen, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Bennington College*
Roshan (Bob) D. Ahuja, PhD, Professor of Marketing, Xavier University*
Sean Faircloth, Maine State Representative*
Sharleen Birkimer, RD, PhD, Retired Nutrition Professor, Lousiville, Kentucky
Sharna Olfman, PhD, Founding Director, Childhood and Society Symposium, Point Park University*
Susan Linn, EdD, Associate Director, Media Center, Judge Baker Children’s Center*, author, Consuming Kids
Susan Okie, MD, author of Fed Up! Winning the War Against Childhood Obesity
Sut Jhally, PhD, Professor of Communication, University of Massachusetts* & Executive Director, Media Education Foundation*
T. Berry Brazelton, MD
Thomas Cottle, PhD, Professor of Education, Boston College*
Tim Kasser, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, Knox College*, author, The High Price of Materialism
Velma LaPoint, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Human Development and Psychoeducational Studies, Howard University*
William Crain, Professor of Psychology, AB, PhD, The City College of New York*
William R. Beardslee, MD, Gardner/Monks Professor of Child Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School*

*Affiliation is for identification purposes only

Organizational Signatories
Action Coalition for Media Education, Albuquerque, NM
Alliance for Childhood, College Park, MD
Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children, Charlottesville, VA
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Washington, DC
Americans for Democratic Action, Washington, DC
Arkansas Hunger Coalition, Little Rock, AR
A Season for Nonviolence Kansas City. Kansas City, MO
Attraction Retreat, Bellingham, WA
Bangor Region Partners for Health, Bangor, ME
Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA
Brooklyn Heights Social Action, Brooklyn, NY
California Adolescent Nutrition and Fitness Program, Berkeley, CA
California Center for Public Health Advocacy, Davis, CA
California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, Salinas, CA
Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Boston, MA
Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood – Quad Cities Chapter, Davenport, IA
Center for Informed Food Choices, Oakland, CA
Center for Food and Justice, Los Angeles, CA
Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use, Eugene, OR
Child Nutrition Program of Southern California, La Mesa, CA
Child-Responsible Media Campaign, San Diego, CA

Children's Center for the Common Good, Rome, NY
Children's Foundation, Washington, DC
Choices for Children, San Jose, CA
Coastal Healthy Communities Coalition, Saco, MA
Concerned Educators Allied for a Safe Environment, Cambridge, MA
Dads and Daughters, Duluth, MN
Daughters: For Parents of Girls, Duluth, MN
Diet Advice for Kids, Fair Oaks, CA
Family and Home Network, Fairfax, VA
Food Fundamentals, Salinas, CA
Go Wild Consumer Education Campaign, Bellingham, WA
The Free Press, Northhampton, MA
Love Little Children, Inc, Sacremento, CA
Kids Can Make a Difference, Mystic CT
Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association
The Media Center at Judge Baker’s Children Center, Boston, MA
Media Literacy for Prevention, Santa Fe, NM
Metropolitan State College of Denver, Department of Health Professions, Denver, Colorado
The Motherhood Project, New York, NY
Mothering Magazine, Santa Fe, New Mexico
National Child and Adult Care Food Program Forum, Washington, DC
Nutrition Education & Child Care Food Program, Lakeville, MA
Oakland Licensed Day Care Operators' Association, Emeryville, CA
The Power of Prevention, Van Buren, ME
The Praxis Project, Washington, D.C
Public Advocacy for Kids, Annadale, VA
School Mediation Associates, Watertown, MA
Seven Day Living Institute, Burlington, WA
Small Planet Institute, Cambridge, MA
St John Valley Partnership, Fort Kent, ME
Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment, Boston, MA
TV-Turnoff Network, Washington D.C.
Valley Oak Children's Services, Chico, CA
Wellness Associates, Asheville, NC
Weston A. Price Foundation, Washington, DC
Who Minds the Child, Kelowna, British Columbia 

 

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