CCFC Blog

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...
For Pupils, a Note and Ad from School – Peabody, MA school committee approves advertising on elementary school notices like permission slips and school calendars. This is the latest in a trend of struggling schools selling out students in an attempt to fill budget gaps. http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/10/01/for_pupils_a_note_and_ad_from_school/Healthy Kids, Healthy Families! Disney Launches Magic of Healthy Living – Disney teams up with Michelle Obama and the Ad Council (sponsored by the Dept. of Agriculture) for a series of PSAs starring Disney characters to promote “healthy lifestyles” for kids and families, which direct kids to new Disney websites designed...
FCC Probes Complaint That Cartoon Advertises Skechers Shoes - After only a week, the FCC opens an investigation into CCFC's petition that the upcoming Nicktoons show "Zevo-3" is one long Skechers ad. http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/news/2010/09/fccprobes.html Schools Seek Extra Cash Through Campus Ads – This Associated Press article addresses how school districts around the country are attempting to close budget gaps by entertaining or enacting the sale of advertising space in schools. CCFC’s Josh Golin and Parents for Ethical Marketing’s Lisa Ray explain why selling students out to corporate marketers is a bad solution. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/sep/19/schools-seek-extra-cash-through...
N.J. Assembly Committee Displaying Ads on School Buses - New Jersey is the latest state attempting to close school budget gaps by selling a captive student audience to advertisers. CCFC's Josh Golin weighs in. http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/news/2010/09/njassembly.html Learning by Playing: Video Games in the Classroom – This New York Times (registration required) article looks at an educational program called Quest to Learn in New York City, which aims to turn the classroom into a video game experience. Is turning the classroom into a video game really the best way to help children learn and grow, especially when kids spend nearly every waking hour outside of school engaged with screens?...

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