How We Win

by: 

Josh Golin

I’m so excited about the real progress we’re making shielding children from invasive advertising. Our ongoing campaign to keep ads off of school buses is just one example. 

Several years ago, marketers started pushing state legislators to allow ads on the outside of buses, wowing them with false promises of big money for school districts. Pundits predicted that the plain yellow school bus would soon be a thing of the past. Thanks to your support, that hasn’t happened.

From 2011 through this year, states introduced 36 bills that would allow school districts to place ads on the exteriors of their buses. As a result of CCFC’s efforts, 33 of those bills did not pass. And in 2016, only one bill was even introduced, down from ten bills in both 2011 & 2012.

How did a small Boston-based non-profit score policy wins in state houses all over the country?

  • We changed the conversation. By educating journalists, we ensured that articles about bus ads included critical voices. Our concerns about exploiting a captive audience of students and commercializing a powerful symbol of education were featured on NPR and NBC Nightly News, and in the New York Times, Washington Post, and dozens of local publications.
  • We punctured marketers’ myths. When lobbyists claimed ads created windfalls for school districts, our research told a different story: Bus ads bring in barely any money—on average, just a dollar per student per year.
  • We mobilized our members. Our School Bus Ad Action Center tracked each bill as it moved through the legislative process, making it easy for our supporters to contact their representatives and ensuring that key lawmakers heard from their constituents at crucial times. 

Of course, keeping sales pitches off of school buses is just one of the many ways CCFC protects children. Our corporate campaigns have forced some of the world’s biggest companies to change their marketing practices. We organize educators and parents to keep advertisers out of classrooms. We’re at the forefront of efforts to protect children from pervasive digital marketing. And during Screen-Free Week—and every week—we help families all over the world unplug from their ad-supported screens.

It’s the generosity of our supporters that makes all of this vital work possible. Will you help support our advocacy for the coming fiscal year by making a tax-deductible donation to CCFC? If we raise $35,000 by 11:59 on June 30, CCFC Board member Ranae DeSantis will match it--and as of 4pm on 6/30, we're just $900 away from our goal!

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