Coalition Asks Yale Club to Step Back from Kids Advertising Confab

Date of Release: 

Monday, September 16, 2002

September 16, 2002               
For Immediate Release             

For More Information Contact:
Dr. Susan Linn, 617-232-8390

Coalition Asks Yale Club to Step Back from Kids Advertising Confab 

(New Haven)   A coalition of more than 20 national and regional organizations working for children today urged the President of Yale, Richard C. Levin, Ph.D, to distance the University from the annual Kidscreen Advertising and Promoting to Kids conference, currently scheduled for September 18-20 at the Yale Club of New York City. 

Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children (SCEC) board member and Harvard Medical School professor Alvin F. Poussaint, MD says that professionals working with children want Yale to “join us in a principled stand against the escalating commercial exploitation of children” by urging the Yale Club, a private institution primarily for Yale alumni, to request that the Advertising and Promoting to Kids conference be relocated.

Corporations spend over $12 billion per year marketing to children.  Children, bombarded with commercials for products including junk food and violent toys, consume almost 40 hours of media a week after school and see 40,000 TV commercials a year – and that doesn’t count all the other increasingly aggressive product marketing aimed at children, even in their classrooms.  As a result, public health problems, such as childhood obesity which is linked to television viewing and food marketing, have multiplied.

“This conference is devoted to refining marketing techniques designed to exploit children,” says Susan Linn, EdD, Harvard Medical School and Judge Baker Children’s Center.  “In addition, the conference hosts the Golden Marble Awards, the advertising industry’s celebration of marketing to children. These awards are given regardless of how the products, the content of the ads, and the culture of rampant commercialism affect the well-being of children.”

Poussaint and Linn say Yale’s respected institutions, like the Yale Child Study Center, are undermined by the Yale Club’s decision to host the conference.  SCEC plans a  September 20 protest and picketing of the Advertising and Promoting to Kids conference in New York.