CCFC Praises France Baby TV Ban; Urges FTC Action in the US

Date of Release: 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

August 21, 2008
Contact: Josh Golin (617-896-9369; josh<at>commercialfreechildhood.org)
For Immediate Release  

CCFC Praises France Baby TV Ban; Urges FTC Action in the US

Yesterday, France’s broadcast authority announced that it was banning French channels from marketing TV shows to children under three years old.  According to a ruling published by the High Audiovisual Council: “Television viewing hurts the development of children under 3 years old and poses a certain number of risks, encouraging passivity, slow language acquisition, over-excitedness, troubles with sleep and concentration as well as dependence on screens.”  The ruling will also require cable operators who air foreign channels with programming for babies to broadcast warnings that say: “Watching television can slow the development of children under 3, even when it involves channels aimed specifically at them.”

The following is the statement of CCFC’s Dr. Susan Linn on the French ruling:

 “We applaud France’s decision to stop television channels from targeting infants and toddlers.  The ruling rightly recognizes the risks of fostering screen dependence upon babies.  It also sends an important message that, in France, the wellbeing of infants and toddlers is more important than the bottom line of companies such as BabyFirstTV that exploit our youngest and most vulnerable children by falsely claiming to parents that their programming is educational. 

France’s historic ruling highlights the failure of the United States to effectively regulate the predatory baby media industry.  It has been more than two years since the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood filed a Federal Trade Commission complaint against BabyFirstTV for false and deceptive marketing, yet the FTC has still not responded.  On French television, programming for babies has been banned.  In this country, we cannot even prevent the producers of television for babies from deceiving parents.” 

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