CCFC Blog

Each year, the Toy Industry Association gathers to present its TOTY (Toy Of The Year) Awards. In honor of the industry that has led the way in commercializing childhood, CCFC will present its TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Award for the Worst Toy of the Year. From thousands of toys that promote precocious sexuality to children and push branded and screen-based entertainment at the expense of children’s play, CCFC has selected five exceptional finalists. Our next nominee is: Mini Mall by miWorld Finally a toy that nurtures little girls’ inner mall rat! Immerse your daughter in the mind-numbing commercialism of America’s...
Each year, the Toy Industry Association gathers to present its TOTY (Toy Of The Year) Awards. In honor of the industry that has led the way in commercializing childhood, CCFC will present its TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Award for the Worst Toy of the Year. From thousands of toys that promote precocious sexuality to children and push branded and screen-based entertainment at the expense of children’s play, CCFC has selected five exceptional finalists. Our first nominee is: Barbie Loves Girl Scouts by Mattel Help the Girl Scouts teach your daughter she can be anything . . . as long as she looks like Barbie! The Barbie...
The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) filed comments today with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), raising important questions about the Commission’s oversight of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The comments came in response to an application submitted to the FTC by AgeCheq, Inc., which is seeking approval of its proposed “verifiable parental consent” (VPC) technology. VPC methods, such as credit card verification or parents calling a qualified representative and confirming their identities, are the protection families have from companies accepting consent from children instead of their parents. Without proposing such new method, AgeCheq’s approach to VPC purports...
Don Thompson, CEO of McDonald’s, was having a rough week. The day before, more than a thousand people had staged a raucous protest at McDonald’s headquarters to demand higher wages. Now, as Thompson addressed shareholders at his company’s 2014 Annual Meeting, a determined group of mothers from Corporate Accountability International’s #MomsNotLovinIt campaign were eager to question him about McDonald’s marketing practices. At the 2013 meeting, Thompson’s grilling by 9-year-old Hannah Robertson went viral and McDonald’s was so worried about incurring another PR disaster that they implemented a series of restrictive measures to limit the moms’ ability to speak. Against this tense backdrop, Sally Kuzemchak of Real Mom Nutrition (the only mom...
Great news! Today, the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with Dr. Robert Titzer, creator of the controversial Your Baby Can Read!, a $200 video series that encouraged parents to put infants as young as three months in front of screens. The settlement is the final chapter in CCFC's long effort to hold the makers of Your Baby Can Read! accountable for its false and deceptive advertising.In 2011, CCFC and its attorneys at Georgetown University’s Institute for Public Representation filed a FTC...
Discussions involving Human Rights in consumer society are not new. UN bodies have been studying relations between an enterprise’s behaviour and its impact on Human Rights enjoyment and enforcement. More evident negative consequences were already addressed by other UN documents, including Conventions. They concern issues such as slave and child labour and environmental problems. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights, transnational corporations, and other business enterprises have lately studied more specific problems in consumer society and discussions have been made regarding a possible update on the UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection. In October, the Special Rapporteur for Cultural Rights presented a...
Mr. Don ThompsonPresident and Chief Executive OfficerMcDonald’s Corporation2111 McDonald’s Dr.Oak Brook, IL, 60523 Dear Mr. Thompson, As advocates for children and public health, we were extremely interested in your remarks at the 2014 Annual Shareholders Meeting. In response to a question about how McDonald’s markets to children, you said, “we don’t put Ronald out in schools” and “in schools and our restaurants you never see Ronald McDonald.”[1] You listed exceptions to the policy in restaurants, but not in schools. We were so pleased that you rightly recognized that schools should be off-limits to commercial advertising and branding. Over the past several years, Ronald McDonald has been a regular visitor to preschools and elementary...
My name is Doreen Miller and I’m a parent and an early childhood educator. I am passionate about helping teachers and families create safe, nurturing environments so that young children can develop to their full potential. Children thrive when they have time and space to play, to create, to daydream, and to be nurtured by adults who understand their needs. I am particularly concerned that the explosion of digital devices makes it so much harder for parents to protect their kids from harmful marketing and can undermine their instincts to set limits on screen-time. As Susan Linn recently said on public radio, “No parents in history have ever had to cope with the unprecedented convergence of a ubiquitous, sophisticated, alluring, habit-...
On May 5-11, thousands of people around the world celebrated Screen-Free Week. Thanks so much to all the SFW organizers who rallied their families, schools, and communities to participate. Screen-Free Week Everywhere From California to New York—and places in between, organizers planned fun screen-free events. There was family fort building in Morton Grove, IL, live music after school in Montpelier, VT, and an evening of family friendly activities including 4-square, kickball, board games, gardening, and dancing in Bismarck, ND. Communities such as Irving, TX, Cambridge, MA, and Muscatine, IA hosted a screen-free event each day of the week. Internationally, students in Brazil celebrated “Semana Sem Telas”; events were...
As a first-time Screen-Free Week celebrant (yes, it’s true), I have a host of anxieties about it. I admit I use screens all day long—for work and for fun. I play mobile games, watch TV, and surf the web daily. But I think that it’ll be hardest for me to give up searching for music. I’m obsessed with discovering new bands and songs and I do it all on a screen. Will I be able to go the whole week just listening to music already in my collection? I know, though, that I’m not alone—many others report that the anticipation of detoxing from digital culture can be nerve-racking. Common concerns include combating boredom, not being able to rely on screens to keep children occupied, having to think up enough screen-free activities to fill the days...

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