Top Educators, Psychologists, Physicians Challenge Unethical Marketing to Children

Date of Release: 

Monday, August 27, 2001

August 27, 2001   For Immediate Release
For More Information Contact:

Dr. Susan Linn, 617-232-8390; Susan_Linn@jbcc.harvard.edu
Dr. Diane Levin, (617) 879-2167;  Dlevin@Wheelock.edu
Dr.  Allen Kanner, 510-526-8613

Top Educators, Psychologists, Physicians Challenge Unethical Marketing to Children

(New York City)   Kids have become fair game for marketers – that’s the harmful reality the Commercialization of Childhood: How Marketing Harms Children summit will address with a panel of distinguished educators, psychologists, children’s advocates and physicians on Monday, September 10, 2001 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City from 9:00 AM to Noon. (The Grand Hyatt is at Park Ave. and 42nd Street). 

The 3-hour Commercialization of Childhood: How Marketing Harms Children summit is timed to coincide with the advertising industry’s annual Golden Marble Awards, which celebrate successful marketing to children without questioning the effect of their products and marketing messages on the well-being of children and families.

Hosted by the Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children (SCEC) coalition, the summit will be moderated by Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  Speakers include Harvard psychologist, Dr. Susan Linn, associate director of the Media Center at Judge Baker Children’s Center,  Dr. Jean Kilbourne, author of Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel; Andrew Hagelshaw, Executive Director of the Center for Commercial-Free Public Education; Dr. Diane Levin, author of Remote Control Childhood? Combating the Hazards of Media Culture; Joe Kelly, Executive Director of Dads and Daughters.

“Corporations spend over $12 billion a year marketing to children, twice the amount spent in 1992,” Dr. Linn says. “The trend is accelerating and it’s time we responded honestly to marketing’s impact on our most vulnerable citizens–children.” Dr. Levin adds, “We are deeply concerned about the harm caused by the advertising industry’s increasingly sophisticated strategies for marketing to children. These practices contribute to obesity, eating disorders, violent and sexualized behavior, and learning problems in school.”

Commercialization of Childhood: How Marketing Harms Children precedes a noon protest rally outside the Hyatt where “Have You Lost Your Marbles?” awards will be given to some of the worst children’s marketing offenders. Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children unites more than 20 national and regional organizations working for children (see www.commercialexploitation.com).