CCFC Blog

On September 22, 2008 CCFC filed comments for the Federal Communications Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on embedded advertising.  A summary of those comments is below.  The full comments are available here. SUMMARY Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood ("CCFC") respectfully submits these comments in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s request for comment on the practice of "embedded advertising." CCFC is a national coalition of healthcare professionals, educators, advocacy groups, parents and individuals concerned with the effects of commercialism on children. CCFC urges the Commission to promptly adopt new regulations on embedded advertisements in order to protect children from an...
Thanks to you, Scholastic, Inc. will no longer be promoting the highly sexualized Bratz brand in schools. In April, 2007, we launched a letter-writing campaign urging Scholastic to stop promoting Bratz items at their book clubs and book fairs. You flooded Scholastic with emails urging them to stop selling books such as Lil' Bratz Dancin Divas; Lil' Bratz Catwalk Cuties; and Lil' Bratz Beauty Sleepover Bash. We were disappointed in Scholastic's initial response. They claimed the Bratz books were important to reach "reluctant readers." This claim seemed disingenuous, especially when the 2007-2008 Scholastic Bratz items included the Bratz: Rock Angels computer game and the Bratz Fashion Designer stencil set so elementary school students...
Citing thousands of toys and kid-targeted promotions already under way for a slew of violent summer blockbusters, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood launched a letter-writing campaign today to the Motion Picture Association of America urging the MPAA to stop allowing film companies to promote PG-13 movies to young children. Take action> In January, in response to a complaint by CCFC, the Federal Trade Commission urged the MPAA to develop an “explicit policy, incorporating objective criteria” to “ensure that PG-13 movies are not marketed in a manner inconsistent with their rating,” but the MPAA has refused that request. As a result, ads promoting PG-13 movies and their related merchandise continue to be a staple of children’s...
Morgan Spurlock - the writer/producer/director and star of the Academy Award nominated film Super Size Me - was the recipient of the third Fred Rogers Integrity Award.  Super Size Me, ignited a national discussion about fast food and helped shine a spotlight on the food industry's nefarious marketing practices. The film, and Spurlock's follow-up Don't Eat This Book, have been instrumental in focusing attention on the childhood obesity epidemic and helping to mobilize parents, healthcare professionals, and politicians to advocate for restrictions on food marketing to children.  Spurlock was presented the award at the opening reception of CCFC's 6th Consuming Kids Summit.  Read the press release.
Thanks to the efforts of CCFC members, McDonald's has ended its controversial report card advertising in Seminole County, Florida.  Children in kindergarten through fifth-grade had been receiving their report cards in envelopes adorned with Ronald McDonald promising a free Happy Meal to students with good grades, behavior, or attendance.  CCFC was alerted to the advertising by Seminole County parent Susan Pagan and launched a campaign, which resulted in nearly 2,000 letters to McDonald's and plenty of bad publicity for the fast food giant. The following is CCFC's statement on the McDonald's decision to end the program. This is a good day for parents and children in Seminole County and anyone who believes that corporations should not prey...
As a result of CCFC’s Federal Trade Commission complaint, Baby Einstein has completely redesigned its website and is no longer making educational claims about its DVDs and videos.  In 2006, CCFC filed an FTC complaint against Baby Einstein for making false and deceptive claims about the educational value of their products.  In December, the FTC decided not to take enforceable action against Baby Einstein when the company promised to “take appropriate steps to ensure that any future advertising claims of educational and/or developmental benefit for children are adequately substantiated.”  Since no substantiation exists, Disney will not be able to claim that the videos have educational value. We are deeply...
(June 14) Today, as part of a settlement agreement with CCFC and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), Kellogg announced major restrictions in the way that they will market food to children.  In return CCFC, CSPI and two Massachusetts parents will not proceed with a planned lawsuit against Kellogg. The settlement, which is the result of more than a year of negotiations, is an important step in limiting children’s exposure to junk food marketing.  We are particularly pleased that Kellogg agreed to end all in-school advertising to children under 12 and to restrict its use of licensed media characters. While Kellogg’s new policy doesn’t go as far as we would like —  we believe all advertising should be targeted to parents, not...
Citing the numerous junk food promotions linked to Dreamworks’ May 18th  release of Shrek the Third, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) has launched a letter-writing campaign to urge the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to remove  Shrek from his role as spokescharacter for the department’s healthy lifestyles and childhood obesity campaign.  CCFC found 17 separate food promotions featuring more than seventy different products, most of which are for energy-dense, low-nutrient foods. Many of the promotions are targeted directly to preschoolers and children as young as two.   A complete list is below. Shrek Food Sierra Mist – tie-in w/ movie;  TV ads will feature characters from...
In a spectacular victory for CCFC, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MTBA) has agreed to stop advertising explicitly violent video games on its trains and buses.  Their decision was in response to a campaign led by CCFC after we spotted ads for the ultra violent, Mature-rated Grand Theft Auto Vice City Stories plastered over MBTA trains. Our success is a testimony to the strength and diversity of the coalition that joined CCFC in demanding that the MBTA refrain from advertising glorified media violence to Boston's children.  More than 60 public health advocates, community leaders and elected officials - including Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino - signed a public letter written by CCFC demanding that the MBTA remove the Grand Theft...
            CCFC's 5th Annual Summit Consuming Kids: Marketing in Schools and Beyond Wheelock College, Boston October 26-28, 2006   On October 26-28, diverse participants from around the world gathered at Judge Baker Children's Center and Wheelock College for a weekend of education and activism and a celebration of "Child Honoring."    Thursday, October 26:  BusRadio Protest Events kicked off with a protest against BusRadio, a new Massachusetts-based company created to force children to listen to commercial radio broadcasts on school buses around the country.  The demonstration was held at the Boston offices of Sigma...

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