CCFC Blog

We loved this letter from CCFC member David Banerjee to Fisher-Price Executive Vice President David Allmark so much we wanted to share it with you. Dear Mr. Allmark, My name is David Banerjee, and I am a father in Toronto, Canada. I would like to share two thoughts with you regarding your product line. 1) During a class on child development in grad school, my professor related some interesting findings on Baby Einstein. Many parents of infants were thrilled that their children could attend for prolonged periods to the videos and had assumed that their children were absorbing the content. Instead, fMRI research indicated that the children's threat receptors were activated by the moving images. In short, their stares were a...
The competition was stiff. The campaigning was fierce. Passions ran high. But in the end, one toy stood out as the worst of the worst: the 2-In-1 iPotty with Activity Seat for iPad by CTA Digital. With 45% of the vote, the iPotty bested runner-up VIP Upgrade Membership by The Real Tooth Fairies (30%) to win the 2013 TOADY (Toys Oppressive and Destructive to Young children) Award. Monopoly Empire (11%) and PLAY-DOH Create ABCs App (10%) also had impressive showings while the Imaginext Mega Apatosaurus by Fisher-Price (3%) finished a distant last. Michelle Salcedo of Greenville, SC eloquently explained her vote for the winner: “Toilet...
Each year, the Toy Industry Association gathers to present its TOTY (Toy Of The Year) Awards. In honor of the industry that has led the way in commercializing childhood, CCFC will present its TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Award for the worst toy of the year. From thousands of toys that promote precocious sexuality to children and push branded and screen-based entertainment at the expense of children’s play, CCFC has selected five exceptional finalists. Our next nominee is:iPotty by CTA DigitalWould your little one rather lie around in a poopy diaper than miss a second of his favorite show? Then you need the CTA Digital 2-in-1 iPotty with Activity Seat for iPad. No more...
Each year, the Toy Industry Association gathers to present its TOTY (Toy Of The Year) Awards. In honor of the industry that has led the way in commercializing childhood, CCFC will present its TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Award for the worst toy of the year. From thousands of toys that promote precocious sexuality to children and push branded and screen-based entertainment at the expense of children’s play, CCFC has selected five exceptional finalists. Our next nominee is: The VIP Upgrade Membership by The Real Tooth Fairies If your jaded little princess is bored with traditional visits from the Tooth Fairy, The Real Tooth Fairies VIP Upgrade Membership makes the...
Each year, the Toy Industry Association gathers to present its TOTY (Toy Of The Year) Awards. In honor of the industry that has led the way in commercializing childhood, CCFC will present its TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Award for the worst toy of the year. From thousands of toys that promote precocious sexuality to children and push branded and screen-based entertainment at the expense of children’s play, CCFC has selected five exceptional finalists. Our next nominee is: PLAY-DOH Create ABCs App by PlayDate Digital Inc. Remove the unseemly mess from Play Doh . . . and all the icky creativity that comes along with it. No longer will kids waste precious moments imagining what to make....
Each year, the Toy Industry Association gathers to present its TOTY (Toy Of The Year) Awards. In honor of the industry that has led the way in commercializing childhood, CCFC will present its TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Award for the worst toy of the year. From thousands of toys that promote precocious sexuality to children and push branded and screen-based entertainment at the expense of children’s play, CCFC has selected five exceptional finalists. Our first nominee is: Monopoly Empire by Hasbro For more than 60 years, Monopoly was almost the perfect board game. But one thing was missing: ads! Fortunately, the good people at Hasbro rectified that with Monopoly Empire, where “Every...
New report from Eat Drink Politics exposes McDonald’s charitable activity as a marketing tool to deflect critics. Pop quiz: Who do you think funds the hundreds of Ronald McDonald Houses around the nation? McDonald’s right? Sort of, but not really. While McDonald’s gets 100 percent of the brand benefit from Ronald McDonald House Charities, the burger giant only provides about 20 percent of its funding globally. At the local level, it’s closer to ten percent, with some of that money coming from donation boxes at McDonald’s outlets, that is, from customers. Confused? Wondering how a corporation that raked in $27 billion last year can be so stingy with its own charity? You’re not alone. In my new report, “Clowning...
I have only been working at CCFC for a few weeks, but I can already see that the major guiding principle behind CCFS's work aligns with a deep-rooted belief of mine—that children deserve a childhood free of roadblocks to their healthy development. Prior to coming to CCFC, I was an early childhood educator and professional development provider. Perhaps not surprisingly, I am a long-time advocate of hands-on creative play and face-to-face interactions for young children.  The advent of easily accessible screen technology is transforming young children’s lives at an unprecedented rate and scale. It concerns me that widespread use of screens is taking time away from creative play and other experiences that we know are essential for children to...
The headlines certainly sounded impressive: “McDonald's to Scrap Soda From 'Happy Meal' Ads” and “McDonald's Ditches Soda In Happy Meal Menus.”   In a grandiose announcement from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (an offshoot of the Clinton Foundation), McDonald’s proved once again that it’s not only the world’s fast-food leader, but also the king of spin. This time, Bill Clinton himself was on hand for the nifty photo op with McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting. Despite the seal of approval from the (mostly vegan) former president, I’ve learned to approach these sorts promises from McDonald’s with skepticism. And sure enough, when I started asking questions about the pledge on Twitter,...
Last week Michelle Obama gathered 100 food industry representatives, academic experts and public health advocates for a “summit” at the White House to discuss junk food marketing to children. The event included public remarks by the first lady followed by a closed-door discussion among attendees, ostensibly to come up with some solutions. The first lady’s speech was better than I had anticipated. As someone who was skeptical about Mrs. Obama’s Let’s Move program from the beginning, with good reason as it turned out, I am happy to report she didn’t pull any punches. Simply by shining a light on the critical role that marketing plays in influencing children’s eating habits, the first lady has taken away the food industry’s most common...

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