CCFC Blog

Has Scholastic Books Outstayed Its Welcome in American Schools? As CCFC launches a new way for parents, teachers and advocates to voice concern over Scholastic's commercialization of classrooms, this author says it's about time schools ditch the company altogether. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20101214/bs_ac/7404678_has_scholastic_books_outstayed_its_welcome_in_american_schools  Los Angeles Schools Seek Sponsors - Josh Golin tells the New York Times why the Los Angeles decision to allow advertising on school campuses is a mistake. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/16/education/16naming.html Class Action Lawsuit Targets McDonald's Use of Toys to Market to Children – A...
A Whole New Name Game – Naming rights are up for sale at public parks, schools and government buildings across the country, as advocacy groups try to combat the idea that corporate marketers are the answer to every budget gap.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703350104575652763782808830.html?mod=WSJ_business_LeftSecondHighlights How About Reassessing First Amendment “Right” to Market Junk Foods? Food guru Marion Nestle discusses the First Amendment, commercial speech, and ending junk food marketing. http://www.foodpolitics.com/2010/12/how-about-reassessing-first-amendment-right-to-market-junk-foods/Study: School Vending Machines Undermine Student Nutrition...
Screen-Free Week 2011
We've got some exciting news.  CCFC is now the official new home of Screen-Free Week (formerly TV-Turnoff), the annual celebration where millions of people turn off television and turn on the world around them.  What would you and your family do with an extra 20, 30, or even 50 hours a week?  Find out during CCFC's inaugural Screen-Free Week on April 18-24, 2011! We all know that excessive screen time is bad for children.  Time with screens is linked to poor school performance, childhood obesity, and attention problems.  And it's primarily through screens that children are exposed to harmful marketing.  Screen-Free Week is a fun and innovative way to improve children's wellbeing by reducing dependence on television, video...
On election day, while most of the nation was distracted with the mid-term election, another vote was taking place in San Francisco City Hall. The Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance to place limits—based on specific nutrition criteria—on how toys are marketed by restaurants in the city and county of San Francisco. Most media accounts got the story wrong. The Los Angeles Times for example, called it a “Happy Meal ban.” (It’s true that, according to McDonald’s, none of the current Happy Meals meet the criteria, but that’s fixable.) The real story is, how did McDonald’s—the nation’s most beloved fast food brand—get so beat up? It’s easy to dismiss this victory as just another liberal law passed in “wacko” San Francisco....
Some Preschool Kids Get Double Dose of Screen Time – Another study published in October shows that many preschools show hours of television to young children. Study author Dr. Pooja Tandon says that while there are some positives to educational programming for preschoolers, "Studies have found that the more screen time a young child is exposed to, the more they're at risk for a range of problems including language delays, learning issues, obesity, even aggression, possibly sleep problems.” http://www.king5.com/health/childrens-healthlink/Preschool-kids-get-a-double-dose-of-screen-time-at-home-and-child-care-106729463.html Report: Fast-Food Chains Increase Targeting Our Kids - Yale University's Rudd Center...
'Educational' DVDs Don't Expand Baby Vocabulary: Study – Yet another study finds that toddlers exposed to DVDs marketed as “educational” show no greater improvement in their vocabulary than young children not exposed to such content. The researchers found that babies learn best doing everyday activities, without exposure to videos. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1326362/Talking-toddler-helps-make-like-Einstein.html San Francisco Bans Happy Meals – Standing up for children's health and against fast food giants, San Francisco rules that restaurants may no longer target children with toy giveaways for meals high in sugar, calories and fat. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-happy-meals-20101103,0...
Alloy wants to own teenage girls – A detailed account of how Alloy is positioning to completely take over the teen girl market—and manufacture teen culture. http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_43/b4200084876175.htm?chan=magazine+channel_features Despite spending billions on advertising, the fast food industry blames parents for skyrocketing obesity rates – This Alternet post give a great argument of the “parents are to blame” argument used by food marketers in response to critiques of their marketing to children practices. http://www.alternet.org/health/148544/despite_spending_billions_on_advertising,_the_fast_food_industry_blames_parents_for_skyrocketing_obesity_rates Junk food ads...
Give advertainment the boot – This Boston Globe editorial supports CCFC’s FCC petition that the Skechers show Zevo-3 airing on Nicktoons is not in the public interest. http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2010/10/12/give_advertainment_the_boot/ Ads may roll out on N.J. school buses - Lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow advertising on the sides of school buses.  If the New Jersey Senate concurs with the state Assembly, school buses in the Garden State may soon resemble rolling billboards. CCFC’s Susan Linn weighs in. http://whyy.org/cms/news/uncategorized/2010/10/11/ads-may-roll-out-on-n-j-school-buses/48011 Too much screen time can psychologically...
Last week, Angela S. was shopping with her six-year-old son when he started excitedly lobbying her to buy SunnyD. Angela was surprised – it wasn’t a product she had ever purchased for him. Moreover, “he sounded like a commercial,” yet Angela’s family doesn’t even own a television, so she was pretty sure a TV ad wasn’t the source of his newfound enthusiasm for SunnyD. And then, as her son excitedly told her that if she bought SunnyD his class would get free books, it dawned on her why he was lobbying her: his teacher had told him to. Her suspicions were confirmed when she got home and looked at the latest handouts that her son had brought home from school and saw a letter from his teacher promoting the “SunnyD Book Spree.” The letter,...
What if they launched a television station and nobody watched? The new Hasbro/Discovery partnership The Hub, which premieres this Sunday, might be a good deal for the 2nd largest toymaker in the world, but if it succeeds it’s a bad deal for parents and kids—both for what it is and what it portends. As the first television station owned by a toy company, it’s another slide downward in the increasingly greedy and lucrative world of children’s media. The Hub’s existence forces us to confront simultaneously the inadequacy and lack of enforcement of rules and laws protecting children from overcommercialization. It’s an intensification and aggregation of the growing problem of program-length commercials masquerading as legitimate children’s...

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