CCFC Blog

CCFC reviewed every item listed in Scholastic’s 2008 monthly fliers for its Lucky and Arrow book clubs. Items were classified as books, books sold with other products, and non-books. In Scholastic’s Lucky Book Club (for grades 2-3), 14% of the 910 items sold during 2008 were not books and an additional 20% of the items were books packaged with other products. In Scholastic’s Arrow Book Club (for grades 4-6), 14% of the 926 items were not books and an additional 18% of the items were books packaged with other products. Combined, 14% of the 1,836 items were not books and an additional 19% of the items were books packaged with other products. Below is a list of non-books and books sold with products in each book club by in January 2008. Click...
In reply comments filed today, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) elaborated its argument that the FCC should explicitly prohibit product placement and product integration in children’s programming and in prime time programming when children are likely to watch.  In response to comments filed by the media and marketing industries, CCFC argued that  “not only does the use of embedded advertising in television programming fail to provide any useful consumer information about a product, it is misleading because the very success of embedded advertising is predicated on obscuring the commercial message altogether.”  Click here for our reply Comments.
On October 27, 2008 CCFC sent a letter to the CEOs of twenty-four toy manufacturers and retailers calling for a moratorium on holiday advertising targeted to children. We also asked CCFC members and supporters to send letters as well.  We have received a reply from the Toy Industry Association and some of the major toy companies and retailers. We are pleased that ThinkFun has responded that they will not be advertising to children this holiday season.  Unfortunately, even in the midst of an economic crisis, JAKKS Pacific and Mattel still plan to target children with holiday ads. Toy Industry Association's Statement The Toy Industry Association notes with interest, but begs to disagree with, the Campaign for a...
On October 27, 2008 CCFC sent a letter to the CEOs of twenty-four toy manufacturers and retailers calling for a moratorium on holiday advertising targeted to children.  We also asked CCFC members and supporters to send letters as well.  While they had the option of sending a prewritten letter, many were so concerned that they took the time to personalize their messages.  Excerpts of these emails are below: "With the global economic crisis intensifying, many families will have to scale back their holiday shopping this year. Mine is no exception. All four of my siblings are out of work -- formerly each of us had 6-figure jobs with which we supported our own children and together, our retired parents and grandparents. It's wrong to create...
On September 22, 2008 CCFC filed comments for the Federal Communications Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on embedded advertising.  A summary of those comments is below.  The full comments are available here. SUMMARY Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood ("CCFC") respectfully submits these comments in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s request for comment on the practice of "embedded advertising." CCFC is a national coalition of healthcare professionals, educators, advocacy groups, parents and individuals concerned with the effects of commercialism on children. CCFC urges the Commission to promptly adopt new regulations on embedded advertisements in order to protect children from an...
Thanks to you, Scholastic, Inc. will no longer be promoting the highly sexualized Bratz brand in schools. In April, 2007, we launched a letter-writing campaign urging Scholastic to stop promoting Bratz items at their book clubs and book fairs. You flooded Scholastic with emails urging them to stop selling books such as Lil' Bratz Dancin Divas; Lil' Bratz Catwalk Cuties; and Lil' Bratz Beauty Sleepover Bash. We were disappointed in Scholastic's initial response. They claimed the Bratz books were important to reach "reluctant readers." This claim seemed disingenuous, especially when the 2007-2008 Scholastic Bratz items included the Bratz: Rock Angels computer game and the Bratz Fashion Designer stencil set so elementary school students...
Citing thousands of toys and kid-targeted promotions already under way for a slew of violent summer blockbusters, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood launched a letter-writing campaign today to the Motion Picture Association of America urging the MPAA to stop allowing film companies to promote PG-13 movies to young children. Take action> In January, in response to a complaint by CCFC, the Federal Trade Commission urged the MPAA to develop an “explicit policy, incorporating objective criteria” to “ensure that PG-13 movies are not marketed in a manner inconsistent with their rating,” but the MPAA has refused that request. As a result, ads promoting PG-13 movies and their related merchandise continue to be a staple of children’s...
Morgan Spurlock - the writer/producer/director and star of the Academy Award nominated film Super Size Me - was the recipient of the third Fred Rogers Integrity Award.  Super Size Me, ignited a national discussion about fast food and helped shine a spotlight on the food industry's nefarious marketing practices. The film, and Spurlock's follow-up Don't Eat This Book, have been instrumental in focusing attention on the childhood obesity epidemic and helping to mobilize parents, healthcare professionals, and politicians to advocate for restrictions on food marketing to children.  Spurlock was presented the award at the opening reception of CCFC's 6th Consuming Kids Summit.  Read the press release.
Thanks to the efforts of CCFC members, McDonald's has ended its controversial report card advertising in Seminole County, Florida.  Children in kindergarten through fifth-grade had been receiving their report cards in envelopes adorned with Ronald McDonald promising a free Happy Meal to students with good grades, behavior, or attendance.  CCFC was alerted to the advertising by Seminole County parent Susan Pagan and launched a campaign, which resulted in nearly 2,000 letters to McDonald's and plenty of bad publicity for the fast food giant. The following is CCFC's statement on the McDonald's decision to end the program. This is a good day for parents and children in Seminole County and anyone who believes that corporations should not prey...
As a result of CCFC’s Federal Trade Commission complaint, Baby Einstein has completely redesigned its website and is no longer making educational claims about its DVDs and videos.  In 2006, CCFC filed an FTC complaint against Baby Einstein for making false and deceptive claims about the educational value of their products.  In December, the FTC decided not to take enforceable action against Baby Einstein when the company promised to “take appropriate steps to ensure that any future advertising claims of educational and/or developmental benefit for children are adequately substantiated.”  Since no substantiation exists, Disney will not be able to claim that the videos have educational value. We are deeply...

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