July 2016

Pokemon STOP! Don’t lure kids to sponsors’ locations; Victory: NFL curbs fantasy football marketing to kids; CCFC to the National Park Service: Don’t turn our National Parks into billboards; An important new statement on media violence; Meet Jean Rogers, our new Screen Time Program Manager; We met our match - thanks to YOU!; Recommended reading & viewing

Newsletter HTML: 

In this Issue: 

  • Pokemon STOP! Don’t lure kids to sponsors’ locations 
  • Victory: NFL curbs fantasy football marketing to kids
  • CCFC to the National Park Service: Don’t turn our National Parks into billboards
  • An important new statement on media violence
  • Meet Jean Rogers, our new Screen Time Program Manager
  • We met our match - thanks to YOU!
  • Recommended reading & viewing

Pokemon STOP! Don’t lure kids to sponsors’ locations 

We need your help to protect children from a wave of corporate marketing at the heart of the Pokemon GO craze. Niantic, Inc., the game’s producer, plans to select “PokeStops” and “Pokemon Gyms”—the real world locations that players visit to capture Pokemon—based on paid sponsorships. One of the first sponsors is McDonald's, and in Japan, every McDonald's is already a Pokemon GO hot spot. When children playing the game arrive at the restaurant, they are enticed to buy Happy Meals with Pokemon GO toys. 

Games shouldn’t be used to lure children to commercial establishments. That’s why we’re calling on Niantic to remove all sponsored gyms and PokeStops for any players under age 13. Please join us: sign our petition, then share with family and friends. 

Victory: NFL curbs fantasy football marketing to kids

In February, CCFC sent a letter to the NFL demanding that they stop promoting a fantasy football game–complete with cash prizes and tempting toys–to children aged six to twelve, and stop offering an elementary school curriculum to get kids interested in fantasy football. We told the NFL that it's unconscionable to entice children into an adult activity, and shared research that shows fantasy sports participation is correlated with gambling-related problems. 

NFL attorneys came to Boston to meet with CCFC and the National Council on Problem Gambling to hear our concerns. The NFL has now informed us of significant changes to the game. They have eliminated the cash "scholarships," and weekly and grand prizes will now be awarded based on random drawings instead of game performance. They've also discontinued the school curriculum based on the game. We're pleased that the NFL will no longer give young children a financial stake in the outcome of its games or enlist teachers and schools in an effort to get children into the habit of playing fantasy sports. You can read reports about the NFL's changes on the Associated Press and the Sporting News

CCFC to the National Park Service: Don’t turn our national parks into billboards

This month we launched a petition to stop an incursion of corporate marketing into our national parks. A proposal currently being considered by the National Park Service (NPS) directs parks to actively seek donations from corporate vendors, liberalizes rules on “donor” recognition, and lifts restrictions on naming rights in parks. That means your visit to a national park could increasingly become marred by product placement in visitors’ centers and on signage, benches, paving stones, and park vehicles. 

More than 170,000 people have spoken out, signing petitions hosted by CCFC, Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert, and CREDO Action. We plan to deliver all of those signatures to the Director of the NPS soon. If you haven’t already, please add your voice and tell the National Park Service to keep our parks free of corporate marketing!

An important new statement on media violence

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has published a new statement on children’s exposure to media violence. The statement outlines robust evidence for the link between media violence and aggression, and makes important recommendations for parents, pediatricians, and policymakers, including: 

  • Don’t expose children under 6 to media violence or allow kids of any age to play first person shooter games.
  • Make children’s ‘media diets’ an essential part of all well-child examinations. 
  • Develop a robust, parent-centric rating system instead of relying on industry’s self-serving ratings.

The AAP’s new statement is part of a larger effort to address the toxic stress caused by racism and violence, and the heavy toll trauma takes on the learning, behavior, and health of children. 

For more on how children are affected by media violence, watch CCFC’s Josh Golin discuss the AAP’s statement on WGBH

Meet Jean Rogers, our new Screen Time Program Manager

We’re thrilled to welcome Jean Rogers to our staff as our new Screen Time Program Manager. For more than 15 years, Jean has helped parents, schools, and healthcare professionals address a wide range of children’s media issues, including gender bias in children’s media, war toys and aggressive play, screen violence, and family media management. At CCFC, Jean will create resources for parents and professionals to help children unplug and play. She’ll also be bringing together organizations interested in reducing children’s screen time so they can share resources, create best practices, and help even more families turn off ad-supported screens. You can learn more about Jean’s work and motivation on our blog

We met our match - thanks to YOU!

Thanks to the generosity of so many CCFC supporters, our fiscal-year-end campaign was a success, earning us a $35,000 match donation by CCFC Board member Ranae DeSantis! Every dollar we raise helps us protect children from marketers. And every donation, no matter the size, buoys our spirits. Thank you supporters, and thank you, Ranae!

Missed our fundraiser? You can still donate here.

Recommended Reading & Viewing