April 2008

CCFC Honors Morgan Spurlock with Fred Rogers Integrity Award; The Reviews are In: CCFC’s Sold-Out Summit a Smash Hit; Advocates ask FTC to Tighten Rules for Online Data Collection from Minors; Abercrombie and Fitch Emergency Room Update; Two Great Upcoming Events:  ACME Summit 2008 and the National Conference on Media Reform:  Minneapolis, June 5-8; Childhood & Society Symposium:  The Sexualization of Childhood.  June 13-14, Point Park University,  Pittsburgh; Book Review: Taking Back Childhood: - How to help your kids thrive in a fast-paced, media-saturated, violence-filled world  by Nancy Carlsson-Paige; Action Alert:  Tell the YMCA:  Stop Partnering with Pepsico

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CCFC Honors Morgan Spurlock with Fred Rogers Integrity Award

 

CCFC’s sixth annual Consuming Kids summit got off to a flying start with the presentation of the Fred Rogers Integrity Award to Morgan Spurlock at a reception at Judge Baker Children’s Center.  The award, named in honor of the host of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, is given by CCFC to a public figure whose efforts to protect children from harmful marketing best embody Fred Rogers' long-standing commitment to nurturing the health and well-being of America's children. Spurlock was honored for his Academy Award nominated film Super Size Me, which educated millions of  people around the world about fast food marketing and the obesity epidemic, and for his continued efforts to raise awareness about the harmful effects of commercialism on children.

 

Spurlock recounted his own childhood memories of Mr. Rogers before entertaining the audience for more than an hour with clips from his films and stories about McDonald’s, commercialism, activism and his own unexpected success.  Highlights included Spurlock’s rendition – complete with dance moves – of the fast food song sung by children at summer camps, his accounts of  the infamous McLibel case in Britain, Jose Bové’s bulldozing of a McDonald’s in France, and his acknowledgement of the vegans in attendance:  “Broccoli posse, represent!”  The audience also roared its approval when Spurlock compared Ronald McDonald to a drug pusher:   “Did you ever notice the clown never eats the food? That’s the dealer’s number one rule:  Don’t get high on your own supply.”   

 

For photos and more about the event, please visit:  http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/events/2008/spurlock.htm.

 

The Reviews are In: CCFC’s Sold-Out Summit a Smash Hit!

 

More than 200 parents, educators, activists, and health care professional gathered at Wheelock College in Boston for CCFC’s sixth summit:  Consuming Kids:  The Sexualization of Children and Other Commercial Calamites.  Thanks so much to the forty presenters who came from as far away as Australia to make this our best summit yet.  We’ll have more about the summit in the coming weeks including, for the first time, online video of many of the plenary sessions.  In the meantime, here’s what a few of the attendees had to say:

 

“Just the right balance of infuriating info and inspiration  . . .  I feel I have no choice but to go home and do something!”

 

“Loved with wide range of topics of angles presented on the issue of sexualization of children. . . . An amazing opportunity to meet and network with like-minded, motivated activists for change.”

 

 “I left thinking about what I can do in my own home to fortify the lives of my children (and myself).  Thanks to the 2 sessions on play/creativity -- instead of focusing on what to keep out (which I hand-wring over plenty), I was reminded of what to BRING IN - old fashioned story telling, time outdoors, creative exploration, make believe.  Yesterday was the best time I've had with my family in weeks, because I was so inspired and with my slightest provocation, we had so much fun.”

 

Advocates ask FTC to Tighten Rules for Online Data Collection from Minors

 

Led by the Center for Digital Democracy, a coalition of advocates (including CCFC) has asked the Federal Trade Commission to limit the collect of information online from children under 18 years old.  Given children’s developmental vulnerabilities to ads and their inability to meaningfully consent to privacy policies that are confusing to most adults, the coalition has asked the FTC to prevent marketers from tracking minors online in order to serve them targeted ads based on their web-surfing history.  You can read more about coalition efforts at http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/news/ftcurged.htm.

 

The coalition’s letter to the FTC and its list of signatories is available at http://commercialfreechildhood.org/actions/behavioraladvertising.pdf.

 

Abercrombie and Fitch Emergency Room Update

 

CCFC’s campaign to stop Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio from renaming the Abercrombie & Fitch Emergency Department and Trauma Center in exchange for a $10 million donation continues to gather momentum.  More than 3,000 of you have sent letters to the hospital and the campaign has generated extensive national media coverage, including stories in the Associated Press and New York Times and all the major cable news networks.  Most importantly, we’ve heard from several employees at the hospital informing us that our efforts have reinvigorated internal opposition to the renaming. We’ll keep you posted as things progress.  In the meantime, if you haven’t yet emailed the hospital, you can do so by clicking here.

 

Two Great Upcoming Events:  ACME Summit 2008 and the National Conference on Media Reform:  Minneapolis, June 5-8.

 

On June 5 in Minneapolis, the Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME) will conduct a special one day teach-in.  Learn a host of useful media literacy education 2.0 tips, tools, techniques, and strategies. Walk away with the knowledge, skills and civic spirit desperately needed to challenge big media...and win! Use our new and expanded tools of media literacy education (2.0) to motivate citizens, parents and students in ways that turn them into media reform activists who will be able to motivate people toward media reform or any cause.  Confirmed presenters include ACME co-presidents Bob McCannon and Rob Williams, CCFC’s Josh Golin, and Kendra Hodgson of the Media Education Foundation.  For more info, visit http://acmecoalition.org/acme_summit_2008.

 

The ACME summit conference precedes the National Conference on Media Reform on June 6-8 in Minneapolis.  Join more than 2,000 fellow activists, media makers, educators, journalists, policymakers and concerned citizens in calling for real and lasting changes to our nation's media system.  Confirmed speakers include Dan Rather, Amy Goodman, Bill Moyers, Naomi Klein, and Arianna Huffington.  And if you go, be sure to stop by the CCFC table in the exhibitor hall and say hello!

 

Childhood & Society Symposium:  The Sexualization of Childhood.  June 13-14, Point Park University,  Pittsburgh.

 

A two day seminar featuring a group of experts  who will examine the impact of growing up in a sexualized culture on children’s health and development, and what parents, professionals, and policy makers can do about it.  Confirmed speakers include CCFC’s Diane Levin and Susan Linn.  CE credits are available for psychologists.  For more information, visit http://www.pointpark.edu/default.aspx?id=1902.

 

Book Review: Taking Back Childhood: - How to help your kids thrive in a fast-paced, media-saturated, violence-filled world  by Nancy Carlsson-Paige.

 

Early childhood development expert and longtime advisor to CCFC, Nancy Carlsson-Paige has written the definitive guide to parenting in a commercializedworld.  Grounded in child development theory and based on Carlsson-Paige’s extensive work with parents, teachers and young children, the book makes a passionate argument for why we need to take back childhood and provides practical tips for doing so.  With chapters on reclaiming play, countering media violence, and talking to kids about consumerism, as well as suggestions for activism, Taking Back Childhood is essential reading for everyone from seasoned CCFC activists to new parents just beginning to grasp the extent of the commercial assault headed for their children. 

 

Action Alert:  Tell the YMCA:  Stop Partnering with Pepsico

National Action Against Obesity has launched a campaign urging the YMCA – the nation’s largest provider of daycare -- to end its partnership with Pepsico and to pledge to remove junk food from their daycare centers.  To read NAAO’s letter and to add your name to this effort, please visit http://www.petitiononline.com/YMCAFood/petition.html.