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SCEC NEWS ~ Summer 2002

IN THIS ISSUE

Why is it essential to be in New Orleans January 22-24, 2003?

Because you need to join Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children (SCEC) to protest the assault on children’s health by the Kid Power Food & Beverage Marketing conference.

The statistics are telling!

  • In the last 20 years, the number of overweight children has doubled

  • hospital costs for diseases associated with childhood obesity have more than tripled.

  • more than half of tweens drink sodas at lunchtime and more than one-third do so at dinner.

  • marketers note that almost all children 6-14 years old influence their parents’ food purchases.

  • one 30 second commercial can influence the brand choices of children as young as two

In flagrant disregard for the threat to our children’s health, the Kid Power Food & Beverage Marketing conference has been helping companies such as Chuck E Cheese, Pizza Hut and M&M Mars hone their skills at marketing junk foods to children. Last year’s workshops included "Targeting Soft Drinks to Kids;" "Excitement in the Beverage Aisle - Taking Disney’s Magic to the Grocery Store;" "From Supermarkets to Soccer Fields: Kids’ Wants, Moms’ Behaviors." Marketers discovered how "Chucky Cheese’s successfully markets restaurants to kids and their families."

Presenters include marketing experts from companies like Imagewerks, "a full-service boutique communications agency...specializing in marketing to the youth audience and youth culture. Imagewerks creates branding, marketing, advertising, design and promotions that allow mainstream and core brands to become an integral part of the elusive youth demographic." Last year, conference attendees learned how the company created a promotion with McDonald’s Happy Meal and Fingerboard, creators of extreme sports action figures. Imagewerks PR proclaims the partnership was "such a success that the promotion landed in the top ten Happy Meals of all time."

Marketers have high praise for the conference.

"One of the best places to get a lot of useful information about kids and tweens at one time. Very helpful in revealing the changing trends and updating my knowledge of this ever-changing and fascinating age group." Keith Murphy of M&M Mars

"Great conference! Power packed with knowledgeable speakers willing to share insights." Chris Pero of Pizza Hut

If you’re concerned about childhood obesity, eating disorders and the deterioration of our children’s health, mark your calendar now for the Kid Power protest and the SCEC 2nd Annual Summit on the Harms of Marketing to Children, January 22-24, 2003. Future newsletters will keep you up to date on plans for this important event.

SCEC Scores a Victory!  KidScreen Cancels 2002 Golden Marble Awards Ceremony. 2002 Winners will be announced in KidScreen Magazine. 

After two years of SCEC’s protests against the annual Golden Marble Awards ceremony in New York City, KidScreen has announced it will no longer hold an award ceremony!  Instead the awards will be announced in a "special" September 2002 issue of KidScreen. The Golden Marble awards for marketing to children are selected solely by artistic merit without taking into account the impact of the ads or the products being advertised on children’s health or well being. 

We thank everyone who contributed to this victory. But because the awards are still being given (even in diminished form) our efforts are not over. Until KidScreen entirely eliminates the Golden Marble awards, we intend to keep them a source of discomfort and shame for KidScreen, award recipients, and the entire advertising industry. Toward this end, we are busily at work planning strategies to keep the pressure on, including an email letter campaign scheduled for mid June.  As always, we welcome your input and strategy suggestions.

Protest Marketing Junk Food to Kids!  Support SCEC’s efforts in New Orleans.

Last year’s Golden Marble Awards protest in New York City was a great success, but we must not rest on our laurels.  Those “wonderful marketing folks” who make their living by selling to children certainly are not going to rest.  So, it’s up to us to continue our effort to protect children from being targets for their products.  One individual or small organization alone cannot combat a $12.8 billion industry.  But as we proved last year, by working together we can make a difference.

As you know, SCEC is a coalition and we do not charge dues. But events such as these cost money.  And, of course, we aren’t looking for corporate support.  Last year’s three day Golden Marble event cost approximately $25,000.   We are anticipating costs that high for New Orleans.

Many organizations and individuals participated in the New York City protest, but only a few organizations contributed to the costs.   To make the financial burden more equitable, we are asking participants and supporters of SCEC to contribute according to the schedule below.  As a contributor, in addition to the satisfaction of promoting efforts to stop the commercialization of childhood, you will be entitled to the following benefits:

  • Names and descriptions of contributing organizations and individuals are placed   on the SCEC web site with links to your home page.

  •   Names of contributors will be listed on all event literature.

  • Contributors can have input into shaping events!

  • Tables for contributing organizations’ literature are available at all SCEC events.

  • Suggested contributions for organizations are based on annual budget.  Individuals are urged to give at whatever level they are able.

Annual Budget  Suggested Contribution
Less than $5,000 $ 25
$5,000 - $49,999  $ 200
$50,000 - $149,999    $ 500
$150,000 - $499,999 $ 1,500
$500,000 - $999,999 $ 4,000
$1,000,000 and higher $ 5,000

Checks should be made out to:   SCEC/Judge Baker Children’s Center

Send contributions to:

Barbara Sweeny
Media Center
|
Judge Baker Children’s Center
3 Blackfan Circle
Boston, MA 02115

Spreading Your Word

If you have news you want to spread about your work, the work of others, or issues you think need addressing, SCEC News is your chance to do it. Send announcements and ideas to news@commercialexploitation.com. Let us know your thoughts!

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Copyright 2002. Please reprint and distribute, but always acknowledge the source and list our website: www.commercialexploitation.com  

 
 

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