Educators, health care professionals, parents and child advocates protest Madison Avenue's irresponsible targeting of children

Date of Release: 

Thursday, September 14, 2000

Children Under Siege

INTENSIVE MARKETING HARMS CHILDREN

Educators, health care professionals, parents and child advocates protest Madison Avenue's irresponsible targeting of children

NEW YORK (9-14-00)—Madison Avenue’s assault on the health and well-being of children will no longer go unchallenged. On the heels of the Federal Trade Commission Report which concludes that the entertainment industry intentionally markets violence to children, the mobilization has begun to reclaim childhood.

While the advertising industry gathers at the Golden Marble awards to pat themselves on the back for doing a great job of targeting children with highly manipulative messages, a group of distinguished healthcare professionals, educators, and child advocates will gather to alert the public to the dangers of that marketing.

Intensive marketing harms children. It harms their health and sense of well being. It compromises their safety and undermines their family life. In this era of unprecedented and rampant exploitation of children as a consumer group, it's time for people who care about kids to take a stand against an industry that seeks to manipulate for profit our most vulnerable citizens.

PRESS CONFERENCE & PUBLIC DEMONSTRATION

Join a distinguished group of experts and child advocates as they present the facts about how intensive marketing is harming today's children. Hear from Susan Linn, Ed.D., Harvard Medical School; Diane Levin, Ph.D., Wheelock College; Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D., Harvard Medical School; Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Ed.D., Lesley College; Allen Kanner, Ph.D., Wright Institute; and Alex Molnar, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

When: Thursday, September 14

Press Conference: Noon

Public Demonstration: Outside Grand Hyatt main entrance, 11:00am-2:00pm

Where: The Golden Marble Awards

Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City (42nd & Park)

Press Conference: Room #1401, Grand Hyatt Hotel

Public Demonstration: At 42nd Street main entrance to the Grand Hyatt Hotel

Contact: Susan Linn (617) 232-8390 x2328; e-mail: Susan_Linn@HMS.Harvard.edu

Diane Levin (617) 879-2167; e-mail: dlevin@Wheelock.edu

On-site Phone Contact: 617-642-0620

What’s Wrong with the Golden Marble Awards:

They celebrate advertising without questioning the ethics of marketing to children

They reward advertisers for effective campaigns regardless of how the products they sell negatively impact the well-being of children and families

Past Golden Marble winners include campaigns for violent toys, fast food, and caffeinated soft drinks high in sugar (products the American Academy of Pediatrics and other child advocacy organizations warn against)

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR POSITIVE CHANGE:

The White House must convene a conference on corporate marketing and its effects on children. Such a conference will serve as a springboard for national dialogue and lay the groundwork for creating appropriate polic

The National Institutes of Health must fund research on the psychosocial and health consequences of intensive marketing to children

A ban on advertising products to children known to be harmful to them must be enacted

Marketing to children, including all toy-based media programs, must be subject to comprehensive federal regulation

Uniform age-based ratings, across movies, TV programs, and video and computer games and toys marketed with them, must be established

Schools must be advertising-free zones

Market research conducted on children must be held to the same-standards of human subjects review as academic research

Children deserve a childhood free from a hyper-marketing environment which incessantly bombards them with advertising. Children deserve a childhood in which their physical and emotional safety is honored and respected by all—even those whose job it is to sell them something.