CCFC Urges Parents to Avoid Heavily Advertised Toys; New Study Finds Lego Targets Kids the Most

Date of Release: 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

December 8, 2011
Contact:  Josh Golin (617-896-9369; josh<at>
For Immediate Release

CCFC Urges Parents to Avoid Heavily Advertised Toys
New Study Finds Lego Targets Kids the Most

BOSTON -- December 8 -- The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is urging parents to “put their money where their values are” and avoid the most heavily advertised toys to children when they shop this holiday season.  Today, CCFC released the Nagging Nine, the toys and games most advertised on children’s cable television networks during “Black Friday” week.  Lego Building Sets, which lead the list, were advertised 415 times during these seven days.

“If we want companies to stop advertising to kids, we have to stop rewarding the ones that do,” said CCFC’s director Dr. Susan Linn.  “Commercialism is toxic for children, and it always gets worse around this time of year.  Marketers have transformed the holiday season into a materialistic feeding frenzy, teaching kids that it's all about demanding—and getting—'must-have' toys.”  

During the week of November 21-27, CCFC reviewed every commercial between the hours of 6AM and 8PM on the children’s cable networks Nickelodeon, NickToons, Disney XD, The Hub, and Cartoon Network.  Of the more than 11,500 commercials that aired on the networks, just over 9,000 were for toys and games.  Lego Building Sets—which were advertised in seven different versions, including highly commercialized kits linked to media properties like Cars 2 and Harry Potter—were advertised over 25% more than the second-most heavily advertised toy, Cepia’s DaGeDar (331 ads).  The complete list of the “Nagging Nine” is included below.

CCFC is urging its members to share the list of toys to avoid with family and friends and to download a wallet-size version to take with them when they shop for the children in their lives.  
“Thoughtful consumers already include issues like environmental impact, labor practices and where a product is made in their buying decisions,” said Dr. Linn. “But most of us don’t think about how, and to whom, the toys are marketed.”