Thanks to CCFC members across the country, when children ride school buses today, they won’t be subjected to specially designed student-targeted ads for Barbie and Cingular Wireless or entreaties to spend their after-school hours watching TV and playing videogames. After CCFC’s three-year campaign. BusRadio - the company that planned to "take targeted student marketing to the next level" - ceased operations yesterday.
BusRadio hoped to play its commercialized broadcasts for a captive audience of students on buses around the country, but CCFC and our network of parent activists opposed the company at every turn. Ending BusRadio is a tremendous victory for families and the growing movement to protect children from exploitative marketing. No child should be forced to listen to ads on their way to and from school. That’s why CCFC:
- Demonstrated at Sigma Partners, the venture capital firm behind BusRadio, to call attention to BusRadio’s egregious marketing.
- Monitored (along with our friends at Obligation, Inc.) BusRadio's content and advertising—and shared our findings with parents, school administrators and the media.
- Lobbied successfully for a state-wide ban on school bus advertising in South Carolina.
- Organized parents to lobby their school boards. CCFC members were instrumental in stopping BusRadio in school districts around the country, including large busing districts such as Montgomery County, Maryland and Louisville, Kentucky.
A report issued this month by the Federal Communications Commission was the final straw. CCFC requested the report and, thanks to the efforts of Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), it was included in this year’s Omnibus spending bill. More than 1,000 of you submitted comments to the FCC about BusRadio and the final report reflected your concerns: The FCC criticized BusRadio for its advertising practices and for undermining parents’ ability to limit their children’s exposure to undesirable content. CCFC members shared the report with their local school boards--and schools across the country pledged not to sign up.
BusRadio severely underestimated parents' determination to keep advertisers off of school buses. And now, thanks to all of our efforts, parents no longer have to worry about their children being bombarded by student-targeted advertising on school buses.