June 2008

CCFC’s Fiscal Year-End Campaign:  We’re Almost There – Can You Put Us Over the Top?; CCFC Urges Adoption of Democratic Platform Plank on Marketing to Children; Coalition Demands FCC Action on Product Placement and Product Integration;  Coming Soon: Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood.  A new film by the Media Education Foundation; CCFC is Now on Facebook; Book Reviews

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CCFC’s Fiscal Year-End Campaign:  We’re Almost There – Can You Put Us Over the Top?

We asked for your help and you’re answering the call.  Thanks to the generosity of so many of you, we’re 80% of the way to raising the $10,000 we need by June 30 to maintain our current efforts and to launch new campaigns. 


If you haven’t yet donated, please take a moment to go to: https://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/621/t/6725/shop/custom.jsp?

donate_page_KEY=751 to support the only national organization whose sole mission is to stop the commercialization of childhood. 


Remember – we don’t accept corporate funding so we rely on you!


CCFC Urges Adoption of Democratic Platform Plank on Marketing to Children

On June 11, CCFC sent a letter to the Democratic Platform Committee urging them to adopt “a plank committing to protect our nation’s children from the excesses of our marketing-driven media culture.” CCFC will send a letter to Republican Platform Committee in the coming weeks.

“Marketing is a factor in many of the most pressing problem’s facing children today,” said CCFC’s Director Dr. Susan Linn.  “We urge the Platform Committee to demonstrate their commitment to children by adopting a plank that clearly states that they will work for the rights of children to grow up – and the freedom of parents to raise them – without being undermined by negative media messages and harmful marketing.”


CCFC’s suggested language for the Democratic Party Platform can be read at: http://commercialfreechildhood.org/pdf/dplatform.pdf.


Coalition Demands FCC Action on Product Placement and Product Integration


Citing the increasingly blurred lines between television programming and advertising, a coalition of twenty-three advocacy and consumer groups is urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to immediately adopt a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on product placement and product integration. 


Last week, the Coalition sent a letter – written and organized by CCFC – detailing the rise of product placement and product integration in television programming.  Dialogue, scenes, and even whole episodes are now scripted around a branded product.  The letter noted that product placement and product integration are used by advertisers in programming popular with children and that the lack of regulation addressing these techniques has been exploited by marketers of everything from junk food to alcohol.  The Coalition is urging the FCC to take meaningful action to prevent television programming from becoming a Trojan horse for branded messages.


To learn more about Coalition’s concerns and efforts, please visit: http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/pressreleases/nprm.htm.


Coming Soon: Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood.  A new film by the Media Education Foundation.


Watching this movie will open the eyes of everyone who cares about children to the disturbing new realities of our consumer culture." - Tim Kasser, author, The High Price of Materialism


Coming this fall: A powerful new documentary from the Media Education Foundation: Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood.  Featuring CCFC’s Susan Linn, Enola Aird, Diane Levin, Josh Golin, Alvin F. Poussaint and other leading child advocates, the film is a powerful look at how the multi-billion dollar youth marketing industry has transformed American children into one of the most powerful and profitable consumer demographics in the world and explores the effects of that transformation on children.  You can view the trailer on CCFC’s YouTube page at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maeXjey_FGA.


Stay tuned for more about the film, including how you can help educate others about the commercialization of childhood by hosting a Consuming Kids house party.


CCFC is Now on Facebook


If you’re a member of Facebook, you can become a fan of CCFC at our brand new Facebook page: It’s a great way to keep track of our activities and to meet other CCFC members.  (And no ads on our page – we promise!).  Join us now at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Campaign-for-a-Commercial-Free-Childhood/43207060421.


Book Reviews


Buying In: The Secret War Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are by Rob Walker.


Rob Walker who writes the Consumed column for The New York Times Magazine, and who invented the wonderfully expressive term “murketing,” has written a fascinating book debunking the popular notion that consumers are becoming immune to marketing.  Instead, Walker’s compelling argument is that it is more persuasive—and more pervasive—than ever.  Marketers are now so adept at employing sophisticated technologies and sneaky techniques that people routinely integrate corporate brands into expressions of personal identity.  For those of us concerned about the commercialization of childhood, or the corporate takeover of everything, this is a chilling and important read. 


Child of Wonder by Ginger Carlson


Written by 2008 CCFC summit presenter Ginger Carlson, Child of Wonder is a thoughtful and engaging resource for parents and educators seeking to understand creativity and to encourage it in practical ways.  With sections on imaginative play, math, movement, music, cooking, science, storytelling, visual arts, questioning, cooperative games, and nature, Child of Wonder provides tools to develop a creatively supported environment in a way that cultivates family participation.  Carlson skillfully demonstrates that the things we need to inspire our children are within ourselves and our homes.  Her love of wonder is infectious and her prescription for nurturing children is both creative and practical.