July 2009

We Made It!; Get involved! Stop PG-13 Blockbusters from Targeting Preschoolers; FCC Will Launch Inquiry into Children's TV; Recommended Listening: The Healthy Media Choices Hour; Recommended Reading: Ad Nauseam by Carrie McLaren and Jason Torchinsky; CCFC on Twitter

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We Made It!

Our end-of-the- fiscal-year campaign was a great success!  We achieved our goal of raising $15,000 by June 31. Thanks so much to everyone who contributed.  Your generosity makes it possible for us to continue our important work reclaiming childhood from corporate marketers.

Click here if you'd still like to make a donation to CCFC

Get involved! Stop PG-13 Blockbusters from Targeting Preschoolers

Join the 2,000+ people who have signed CCFC’s petition to the Federal Trade Commission urging them to stop Hollywood from marketing violent PG-13 movies to children as young as preschoolers.CCFC has tracked over 4,600 ads on children's TV stations for five violent PG-13 summer blockbusters, as well as their toys and fast food promotions. Over 2,000 have run on Viacom's Nickelodeon and NickToons channels alone.

Parents are undermined when kids are targeted with marketing for violent films like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; Star Trek; and the upcoming GI Joe: The Rise of Corbra—which the movie industry itself warns may contain material that’s inappropriate for themPlease take a moment to sign the petition and then pass it on.  We will deliver the petition – along with your comments – to the Federal Trade Commission in time for the August 7 opening of G.I. Joe.  . 

“Right now the MPAA is having its cake (appearing to comply with a rating system that shields young children from violent movies) and eating it too (aggressively marketing those movies to all children). This must stop.” ~Victoria Mills, Cambridge, MA

“I imagine that no one would agree that it is OK for cigarette companies to market to people who are too young to smoke. Or beer companies to market to people who are too young to drink. Why should movie companies be allowed to market to people who are too young to see their movies?” ~Jared Gale, Irvine, CA

Sign the petition | Share the petition | Read CCFC members' comments to the FTC | Learn more about this summer's PG-13 marketing

FCC Will Launch Inquiry into Children's TV

More than 2,500 of parents signed CCFC’s Father’s Day letter to President Obama urging him to authorize both the FCC and the FTC to evaluate their current policies to determine whether they meet the needs of twenty-first century families. Last week, the FCC announced an inquiry into its children’s television rules, including inappropriate marketing practices. CCFC applauds the FCC’s proposed inquiry and looks forward to working with both the FCC and the FTC in efforts to protect children from exploitation by corporate marketers. 

Recommended Listening: The Healthy Media Choices Hour

The Healthy Media Choices Hour is a great resource for parents and teachers concerned about media’s influence on young children. It streams live at www.wvew.org on Tuesdays at 1 PM EST and is hosted by Mary Rothschild, founder and director of CCFC member organization, Healthy Media Choices. You can hear podcasts of past shows – including many featuring members of the CCFC staff and Steering Committee – at www.healthymediachoices.org.

Recommended Reading: Ad Nauseam by Carrie McLaren and Jason Torchinsky

Many of you know activist and writer Carrie McLaren from her great magazine Stay Free!, which provided a sharp, contemporary, and often hilarious critique of commercialism in the twenty-first century. In 2006, Stay Free! went paperless, morphing into blog.stayfreemagazine.org. Now she and Jason Torchnisky, a writer for The Onion News, have collaborated on editing a new, substantive and highly entertaining book, Ad Nauseam: A Survivor’s Guide to American Consumer Culture.

Ad Nauseam features a pithy collection of essays that manage to capture the utter absurdity and holy terror of commercialized culture while offering ideas for protest and resistance that move way beyond the staid and traditional. In addition to discussions of how and why advertising works are suggestions for resisting and subverting commercial culture, including an interview with Sir Jon Hargrave, a master of pointed pranksterism. An essay called Grave Revisionism: Advertising Resurrects the Dead, lists examples of great social thinkers who are now posthumously pushing products—like Ghandi (Apple) and Martin Luther King (Coca Cola). There’s even an interview with an adult Little Mermaid fanatic—the Disney version, of course.  

Ad Nauseam is a great read for anyone, and it’s also a terrific textbook for educating teenagers and young adults about commercialism. Each section concludes with a “Key Questions” page to help organize classroom discussions.

CCFC on Twitter

Follow CCFC on Twitter for new ways to communicate with us. We’ll be tweeting all the news related to the commercialization of childhood, as well as CCFC actions, events, facts, and activities. Join us on Twitter @commercialfree  to be part of the conversation and help spread the word.

Visit CCFC on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/commercialfree