October 2008

CCFC’s Holiday Marketing Moratorium – An Update; Nancy Carlsson-Paige Joins the CCFC Steering Committee; BusRadio Pulls 90210 Ads; Baby TV Banned in France; TV Cultura Goes Commercial-Free; Book Review: The Talk: What Your Kids Need to Hear from YOU About Sex by Sharon Maxwell; CCFC on Facebook

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CCFC’s Holiday Marketing Moratorium – An Update

Our campaign to get toy marketers to target parents during the economic crisis is gathering momentum. Thanks so much to those of you who have already sent emails to toymakers and retailers, especially those of you who took the time to personalize your emails. These personal emails make clear that these are not ordinary times and it is more important than ever that marketers respect parental authority this holiday season by targeting their advertising to adults.

“Unfortunately, I will not be able to purchase many of the toys that my sons have asked for; we simply don't have the money. And by bombarding them with advertisements . . . you are placing parents like me in the unenviable position of having to tell our children that we can't afford the toys you promote.” ~ Todd H., Hudson, IN.

“Help me understand why your toy is the better one for my child, and why it should be one of the few I can afford. Don't leave that up to my children. My four-year old doesn't understand why he can't have everything, while I try to keep my eight-year old (who knows that Christmas will be slim) from feeling guilty for wanting the latest fad.” ~ Erin C., Columbus, OH

More quotes from CCFC members can be read at: http://commercialfreechildhood.org/actions/membertoyletters.htm

And If you haven’t yet sent an email to toy marketers, please take a moment to do so by visiting http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/621/t/6914/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26139.

And please, let friends and family know about this important campaign!

 Nancy Carlsson-Paige Joins the CCFC Steering Committee

We’re pleased to announce that Nancy Carlsson-Paige, professor at Lesley University in Cambridge, is the latest addition to CCFC’s Steering Committee. For over twenty-five years, Nancy has researched and written about how children are affected by media violence and how they learn the skills for caring relationships and positive conflict resolution. Her latest book, Taking Back Childhood: Helping Your Kids Thrive in a Fast-Paced, Media-Saturated, Violence-Filled World is essential reading for everyone from new parents to seasoned CCFC activists. We are thrilled that Nancy, an informal advisor since our inaugural protest against the advertising industry’s Golden Marble Awards, has made her affiliation with CCFC official.

BusRadio Pulls 90210 Ads

Thanks to more than 1,700 emails from CCFC members, BusRadio – the controversial company that hopes to “take targeted student marketing to the next level” by forcing children to listen to its commercialized radio broadcasts on school buses – has now pulled all of its 90210 advertising from its website for children as young as six.

While we are glad that young visitors to BusRadio.com will no longer be subjected to advertisements for a show chock full of teen sex and drinking, the fact that these ads ran in the first place is just the latest indication that no school sign should up for BusRadio’s services. For more reasons, please visit http://www.commercialexploitation.org/actions/busradio.htm and the BusRadio resource page of Obligation, Inc.

To find out if your school district has BusRadio, please visit http://www.commercialexploitation.org/actions/busradiodistricts.htm.  If it does, please let us know (ccfc<at>commercialfreechildhood.org) so we can keep updated about local campaigns to turn off BusRadio.

Baby TV Banned in France

France’s broadcast authority recently announced that it was banning French channels from marketing TV shows to children under three years old. According to a ruling published by the High Audiovisual Council: “Television viewing hurts the development of children under 3 years old and poses a certain number of risks, encouraging passivity, slow language acquisition, over-excitedness, troubles with sleep and concentration as well as dependence on screens.” The ruling will also require cable operators who air foreign channels with programming for babies to broadcast warnings that say: “Watching television can slow the development of children under 3, even when it involves channels aimed specifically at them.”

CCFC applauds France’s decision to stop television channels from targeting infants and toddlers. It sends an important message that, in France, the wellbeing of infants and toddlers is more important than the bottom line of companies such as BabyFirstTV that exploit our youngest and most vulnerable children by falsely claiming to parents that their programming is educational.

Sadly, the U.S. remains light years behind France. It has been more than two years since the CCFC filed a Federal Trade Commission complaint against BabyFirstTV for false and deceptive marketing, yet the FTC has still not responded. While the French government has banned programming that targets babies, our government still permits producers to deceive parents by marketing baby television as educational. 

TV Cultura Goes Commercial-Free

More good news from abroad. Congratulations to our sister organization in Brazil, the Criança e Consumo (children and consumption) project of Instituto Alana (http://www.alana.org.br) for persuading TV Cultura, the State of Sao Paulo’s public television network, to stop advertising to children. As of January 1, 2009, the station will air no commercials aimed at children. Are you listening, PBS?

Book Review: The Talk: What Your Kids Need to Hear from YOU About Sex by Sharon Maxwell

The Talk is an excellent book for parents on how to talk to their children about sex. Dr. Maxwell describes the “sexy” culture our children are saturated in and how that is harmful. She gives practical guidance for parents on sharing values with their children. Maxwell also emphasizes the important of talking to your kids well before puberty in order to empower them to resist an oversexed world and make healthy, age-appropriate choices. The Talk is very practical is demonstrating how to help children grow up with a healthy perspective on sexuality rather than the commercialized, hyper-sexed one offered by media and marketers. Her focus on teaching self-discipline and developing self-control is a refreshing counterpoint to a pop culture that says we should have it all right now. In a world where being “sexy” is promoted to young children, and sex is split from intimacy, The Talk offers valuable support for all parents.

CCFC on Facebook

If you’re a member of Facebook, be sure to become a fan of CCFC. It’s a great way to keep track of our activities and to meet other CCFC members. Join us now at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Campaign-for-a-Commercial-Free-Childhood/43207060421?ref=ts

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