Date of Release:
February 28, 2012
Contact: Josh Golin (617-896-9369; josh<at>commercialfreechildhood.org)
For Immediate Release
New Film Uses Conservation Icon to Pitch SUVs and More
BOSTON -- February 28 -- The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has launched a campaign to “Save the Lorax!” from an onslaught of corporate cross-promotions. For more than forty years, Dr. Seuss's classic book, The Lorax, has been a clarion call for reducing consumption and promoting conservation. But this Friday, Universal Pictures' The Lorax arrives in theaters with dozens of corporate partners promoting everything from SUVs to Pottery Barn to Pancakes. CCFC is urging anyone who cares about The Lorax’s original message to enjoy the story but pledge to shun the movie’s commercial tie-ins, including:
- The new Mazda CX-5 SUV—the only car with the "Truffula Seal of Approval."
- Seventh Generation household products and diapers festooned with the Lorax.
- IHOP's kids' menu items like Rooty Tooty Bar-Ba-Looty Blueberry Cone Cakes and Truffula Chip Pancakes.
- In-store promotions featuring the Lorax at Whole Foods, Pottery Barn Kids, and Target.
- Online Lorax games and sweepstakes for YoKids Yogurt, Comcast Xfinity TV, Target, IHOP, and HP.
- HP's "Every Inkling Makes a Difference," a branded in-school curriculum produced and distributed by Scholastic.
“It is both cynical and hypocritical to use a beloved children’s story with a prescient environmental message to sell kids on consumption,” said CCFC’s director, Dr. Susan Linn. “The Lorax that so many of us know and love would never immerse children in the false corporate narrative that we can consume our way to everything, from happiness to sustainability. Instead, he would join everyone who cares about children and the environment to give kids time and space to grow up free of commercial pressures.”
Environmentalists and advocates for public transportation are particularly outraged that Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Random House, and Universal have licensed the Lorax to Mazda to promote its “Seuss-ifed” 2013 Mazda CX-5 crossover SUV. Television commercials depict the car driving through scenes from the animated film while proclaiming its supposedly green attributes. Mazda has also teamed with the National Education Association to promote its car and the film in public schools around the country.
“The car industry has been advertising to children for years,” said Catherine Lutz, Professor and Chair of Brown University’s Department of Anthropology, and Anne Fernandez, co-authors of Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives. “But the real poke in the eye of this ad campaign is its deceptive message to children and their parents that buying an SUV can save the planet from the environmental destruction that auto manufacturing, auto emissions, and auto sprawl has wrought.”
Added Dr. Linn, “Let’s honor The Lorax’s important message by celebrating the story and saying ‘no’ to the film’s corporate cross-promotions."