Commentary

Back to school with PepsiCo stealth marketing?

by: 

Michele Simon

I recently blogged about questions regarding how PepsiCo's voluntary beverage guidelines, announced in March, would be implemented in schools given that contracts are made at the local level. Now with back-to-school in full swing, I have even more questions about how PepsiCo may be using stealth marketing techniques to gain access to that coveted captive K-12 audience.

Dethroning the Disney Princesses

by: 

Susan Linn, Ed.D.

According to newspaper reports, researchers are exploring links between a girlhood characterized by “princess culture,” and womanhood fraught with narcissism, materialism, and overspending. No adult behavior can be explained solely by one thing—human beings are complicated creatures. But these researchers are on to something. We pass cultural values on through the stories we tell and the toys we give to children. The messages they take away from what they see, hear, and experience contribute to their understanding of the world and how it works.

Ralph Lauren: Ganging Up on Kids

by: 

Susan Linn, Ed.D.

The inevitable late summer plague has arrived. No, I’m not talking about mosquitoes, or poison ivy, or humidity. I’m talking about the back-to-school fashion frenzy. The buzz this year is about “interactivity." Shopping is now supposed to be ever so much more than interacting with our wallets. Some stores offer shopping sprees to “haulers,” kids who show off their purchases on YouTube. Others encourage them to play disc jockey on life size MP3 players when they walk in.

Thinking About Allowing Advertising in Your School? Do Your Homework

by: 

Josh Golin

With schools facing unprecedented budget shortfalls and teacher layoffs, it’s not surprising that so many are considering what just a couple of years ago would have been unthinkable: allowing corporate advertising in their schools. The San Diego Union Tribune reports that the Sweetwater Union High School District has signed a contract with a company called 4 Visual Media Group to allow advertising on its cafeterias, hallways, and school buses.

Beyond Barbie: Mattel's Monster of an Assault on Girls

by: 

Susan Linn, Ed.D.

A new study adds heft to the argument that girls are entering puberty earlier than ever before. No one knows why more girls than ever are developing breasts at seven or eight—some scientists attribute it to childhood obesity, others cite environmental factors. Whatever the reason, there’s cause for concern. How do girls so young deal with feelings heightened by hormonal surges, changes in their bodies, and how people think about them in their bodies?

Et Tu, Bronx Zoo?

by: 

Josh Golin

When I was growing up, the Bronx Zoo was just about my favorite place in the world. So it was painful to get this email from a CCFC supporter:

In case you haven't heard about this:

The Bronx Zoo now has a Dora exhibit. I am devastated. It was, until this, one of the last commercial-free places I could take my kids. Now, all they want to do is see Dora. So sad.

The exhibit? A video, of course. Sorry, I mean a multi-sensory experience:

One Family's Bold Experiment: A Year Without Disney

by: 

Josh Golin

Earlier this year, CCFC was ejected from its home at the Judge Baker Children's Center (JBCC.) Judge Baker’s decision to end its affiliation with CCFC came after representatives from the Walt Disney Company contacted the Center following CCFC’s successful campaign to persuade Disney to offer refunds on its Baby Einstein videos.

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