CCFC Blog

The AYSO jersey with prominent Fox Sports 1 logo
Parents are fighting back against the encroachment of corporate advertising into a national youth soccer league: the logo for Fox Sports 1 has crept right onto the front of their children’s jerseys! AYSO, the oldest youth soccer program in the country, has entered into a five-year sponsorship deal with Fox Sports. Thousands of children playing in AYSO programs across the country are now walking, running, and kicking billboards. Their jerseys bear the AYSO crest on the left, and equally conspicuous is the Fox Sports 1 logo on the right. When you visit the AYSO website and see how prominent the Fox logo is in several photos of kids playing soccer, you get the feeling that AYSO has turned them into models in an ad campaign. AYSO’s new uniform...
On June 13th, friends and supporters from all over globe gathered at Wheelock College to honor outgoing Executive Director Susan Linn for founding and sustaining CCFC the past 15 years. The evening included lots of commercial-free entertainment with performances by the Revels Kids and a special sing-along for Susan. Longtime friends and colleagues, including Kevin Hepner, Alvin F. Poussaint, Diane Levin, Michele Simon, Ana Lúcia...
Yesterday, as part of an action organized by Corporate Accountability Interational, I had the opportunity to attend McDonald’s 2015 Annual Shareholders Meeting and ask new CEO, Steve Easterbrook, if he is ready to commit to ending his company’s predatory marketing to kids. As a teacher, it is particularly concerning to me that McDonald’s uses schools as its own personal ad space. I know the importance of keeping marketing out of schools, especially when the brand promoted is fueling today’s health epidemic. That’s why I asked CEO Easterbrook, “will you commit to respecting schools as commercial-free zones and stop targeting our children?” In response to my question, Andrew McKenna, McDonald’s Non-Executive Chairman, stated that “CEO...
On May 4-10, thousands of people around the world celebrated Screen-Free Week. Thanks so much to all the SFW organizers who rallied their families, schools, and communities to participate. Screen-Free Week Everywhere From Washington to Florida-and places in between, organizers dreamed up all sorts of fun events and activities. There were ukulele lessons in Chehalis, WA, building castles and skyscrapers from recycled materials in Brooklyn, NY, and a variety of daily activities including a scavenger hunt, LEGOs, board games, and crafts in Homewood, IL. Communities such as Irving, TX and Battle Creek, MI hosted a screen-free event each day of the week. Internationally, students and others unplugged for the week in Morocco,...
In this guest post, toy store owner Marlene Lewis explains why you won’t find any commercial characters or battery-powered toys at Sunshine Sam in Bloomfield, NJ. I read the recent toy-related article in the New York Times with great interest. “Hitching a Toy to a Star” resonated with me because it addressed a large part of why I opened my battery-free and non-commercial toy and gift store, Sunshine Sam. Since opening my store, I’ve often been asked the seemingly simple, but actually very complicated question, “Why bother?” Many people wonder, “Do you have something against Mickey Mouse?” The answer is NO! Not at all! I also have nothing against Frozen, Toy Story, or Star Wars. In fact,...
As kids get older, can they and their friends enjoy commercial-free fun at home? This is the third post in CCFC's series: Commercial Quandaries for Modern Parents. Click here to read the rest of the series.  Q: My 3 sons, ages 11, 8, and 4 are starting to spend a lot more time with friends lately. We have limits on screen time at our house and spend most of our toy money on building and thinking toys. But my boys don't seem to want play with their friends at our house and their friends would rather not play here as well. How can we make our house more "fun" for friends without giving in to the hyped up toys, video games, and especially toys from movies that are inappropriate for my children to...
Today, CCFC released a groundbreaking new report, OUT OF BOUNDS: The NFL’s Intensive Campaign to Target Children, exposing the National Football League’s marketing blitz aimed at kids. The league’s new strategies to woo kids have serious consequences, including increased sedentary screen time, exposure to junk-food marketing, loss of valuable instructional time in school, encouraging gambling behaviors, and exposure to the league’s off-the-field controversies. Writing this report was difficult for me. I’ve been a diehard professional football fan since elementary school, the age when the majority of the NFL's fans first become interested in the games. For the past 35 years, I’ve spent nearly every Sunday during football season...
To everything there is a season. . . The coming months at CCFC will be poignant ones for me. I've decided it is time for me to leave the organization I founded and love. My last day will be June 30th. I am as passionate about ending marketing to children as ever. But as CCFC expands and evolves, I believe I have taken it as far as my particular skills and attributes will allow. It's time for change. I'm thankful that my fantastically competent and committed colleague Josh Golin and a dedicated Board of Directors will carry on this work. Josh will become Executive Director on July 1st. I've been privileged to work closely with so many deeply ethical and effective advocates around the world and with parents, educators,...
This is the second post in our new series CCFC Q&A: Commercial Quandaries for Modern Parents. Click here to read the first post. Q: I struggle with exposing our 2-year-old son to Curious George. I recognize there was a study out of New Hampshire that indicated children did well in school if they had viewed this program. However, as much as I enjoy the problem solving on the show and the use of the character as a springboard for learning, I get uncomfortable when my toddler can't take his eyes away from the screen. We try to limit screen time, but it seems to relax him so much after a day at his early childhood center. Recently, he didn't even greet his father after he had been...
This is the first post in our new series CCFC Q&A: Commercial Quandaries for Modern Parents. Q: We made the mistake of letting Thomas into our almost-four-year-old's life and now he is obsessed. I like the wooden track as it encourages creativity and problem solving (and there are plenty of non-Thomas trains for it) but I cringe daily at the requests for ever more characters and so forth to add to his collection. I wish I had looked into it more before exposing him to it—we like trains in our family, that's about all the thinking that went into it. Is there any undoing this? I feel as though Britt Allcroft has a firm grip on our son's soul (and our bank account). :( —Jennifer ...

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