December 2008

Changing the Culture of Childhood; Montgomery County Pulls the Plug on BusRadio; CCFC's Commercial-Free Holiday Guide; Help Save Small, Independent Toymakers; CCFC to FCC: Protect Children from Embedded Ads; Study: Children's Media Use has Long-Term Health Consequences; Study: Fast Food Ad Ban Would Reduce Childhood Obesity; Support CCFC's Year-End Campaign

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Changing the Culture of Childhood

As 2008 draws to a close, a convergence of events are injecting new energy into CCFC's efforts to reclaim childhood from corporate marketers.  We are about to see an end to an Administration that has opposed nearly every kind of regulation.  And if there is any silver lining to the current economic crisis, it's the growing consensus that allowing industries to regulate themselves often spells disaster.

For far too long, the corporations that prey on children have written their own rules.  We believe that 2009 will offer an unprecedented opportunity to work for policy changes that protect children from unscrupulous marketing. 

It won't be easy.  Both Democrats and Republicans are beholden to corporate interests and culpable for the escalation of advertising and marketing to children.  And any effort to regulate advertising to children will surely be met with intense opposition from well-funded industries.  But with your help, we can ensure that real change means putting children before corporate interests.

Montgomery County Pulls the Plug on BusRadio

Last Thursday, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) terminated their relationship with BusRadio, the controversial company created to force children to listen to commercialized radio broadcasts on school buses around the country.  Their decision came a day after CCFC sent a letter urging MCPS to end the use of BusRadio on their school buses.   Montgomery County had been using BusRadio on a trial basis.  With 96,000 school bus riders, Montgomery County would have been BusRadio's largest school district. 

The events in Montgomery County are the latest indication that when parents learn the truth about BusRadio they want no part of it for their children.  We are particularly gratified that local parent activists relied on resources from CCFC and Obligation, Inc in their advocacy efforts against BusRadio. 

CCFC's Commercial-Free Holiday Guide

The reviews are in:  CCFC's Holiday Guide is a smash hit.

"A fabulous holiday guide to help you and your family reclaim the holidays" -- Patricia Mayville-Cox,  Green Daily. 

"CCFC's practical tips for reducing commercialism in family celebrations this holiday season are particularly welcome." - Peter Rothberg, The Nation.

"A terrific resource," - Super Granny

Download your free copy today and share it with family and friends.  And be sure to check out these great tips from CCFC members.

Help Save Small, Independent Toymakers

In August, in response to the influx of imported toys containing materials hazardous to children, Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which mandates testing for all toys sold in the U.S.   The intent was laudable, but only large scale manufacturers and retailers will be able to afford the substantial testing fees, which effectively closes the market to all but those able to mass produce toys.  As a result, small independent toymakers - the same toymakers that almost never market their products directly to children - may have to go out of business.  To urge Congress to protect both children and your favorite independent toymaker, please visit http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org/.

Update!
CCFC to FCC: Protect Children from Embedded Ads

On November 21, CCFC elaborated on its argument that the FCC should explicitly prohibit product placement and product integration in children's programming and in prime time programming when children are likely to watch.  In response to comments filed by the media and marketing industries, CCFC argued that  "not only does the use of embedded advertising in television programming fail to provide any useful consumer information about a product, it is misleading because the very success of embedded advertising is predicated on obscuring the commercial message altogether."

To download CCFC's full reply comments click here. To read the original comments click here. For more on the FCC and embedded ads please visit: http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/actions/nprm.html.

Study: Children's Media Use has Long-Term Health Consequences

Common Sense Media's new review of 30 years of research on children and media found a relationship between children's media use and such problems as childhood obesity, tobacco, drug, and alcohol use, poor school achievement, precocious sexual behavior, and attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity.  Looking at both time spent with media and media content, researchers found that 80% of the studies showed that greater media exposure was linked to negative health consequences.  This meta-analysis is especially interesting because it's one of the first to take a "whole child" approach to media by considering their impact on so many aspects of children's growth and development.

To download the study click here.

Study: Fast Food Ad Ban Would Reduce Childhood Obesity

A new study conducted for the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that a ban on fast-food advertising to children could significantly reduce childhood obesity.  Researchers measured the number of hours of fast-food television advertising messages viewed by children each week and found that a ban during children's programming would reduce the number of overweight children aged 3-11 by 18 percent, and lower the number of overweight adolescents aged 12-18 by 14 percent.  Sounds like a good idea to us.

More information on this study is available at http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/590132.

Support CCFC's Year-End Campaign

We rely on you because we will not compromise our commitment to children by accepting corporate funding.  Between now and January 1, 2009, all donations of $125 will be matched!  But any amount is appreciated.  To make your tax-deductible donation please visit: http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/donate.

Support CCFC.  We rely on our members because we will not compromise our commitment to children by accepting corporate funding. To make a tax-free contribution, please visit http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/donate.

           

     

 

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