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CCFC NEWS - Summer, 2006

 

IN THIS ISSUE:

 

CCFC's 5th Annual Summit:  David Elkind Joins All-Star Lineup; Time Running out on Early Bird Registration.

Consuming Kids: Marketing in Schools and Beyond
Wheelock College & Judge Baker Children's Center, Boston
October 26-28, 2006

Only three weeks left for early bird registration- save $50 by registering today!

$125 General Admission
$75 Students (w/ valid student ID)
Registration includes
An Evening with Raffi and Friday/Saturday continental breakfast and lunch

Early bird registration ends July 15, 2006.  Register now at http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/events.htm 

CCFC is pleased to announce that Dr. David Elkind will give a special talk on Saturday, October 28.  Dr. Elkind, a professor at Tufts University, is the author of many important books on child development including The Hurried Child. 

Other confirmed summit speakers include:

Enola Aird, The Motherhood Project; Brita Butler Wall, Seattle School Board President; Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Lesley University; Walter Eddie, Boys Club of New York; Lisa Fager, Industry Ears; Allen Kanner, The Wright Institute; Joe Kelly, Dads and Daughters; Jean Kilbourne, author of Can't Buy Me Love; Diane Levin, Wheelock College & author of Remote Control Childhood; Susan Linn, author Consuming Kids; Alex Molnar, Commercialism in Education Research Unit, Arizona State University; Michele Simon, Center for Informed Food Choices; Velma LaPoint, Howard University and many, many more! Moderated by Alvin F. Poussaint, MD.

Register now at http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/events.htm

The summit kicks off at the Judge Baker Children's Center on Thursday, October 26 at 7:30 PM with An Evening with Raffi, including the presentation of the 2nd Annual Fred Rogers Integrity Award.  Friday will feature presentations on topics such as Marketing Sex, Violence, and Values; Commercialism, Race and Class; and Commercialism and Spiritual Communities.  Saturday's program has a special emphasis on marketing in schools and features a keynote presentation by Alex Molnar, noted author, advocate and researcher. We will also examine effective advocacy strategies for reclaiming childhood from corporate marketers.

Scholarships available:  Please inquire at ccfc<at>commercialfreechildhood.org 

CCFC to Present Raffi with Fred Rogers Integrity Award

Can’t make the entire summit?  You can still attend An Evening with Raffi on October 26, 2006 at the Judge Baker Children's Center in BostonAn Evening with Raffi includes:

  • Presentation of Fred Rogers’ Integrity Award to Raffi by CCFC.

  • A presentation - in word and song - by Raffi on his Child Honoring philosophy.

  •  A book signing of Raffi's recently published anthology, Child Honoring: How To Turn This World Around (co-edited with CCFC summit presenter Dr. Sharna Olfman).

  • A reception with light refreshments.

Tickets are $25 (free for registrants for CCFC's 5th Annual Summit) 

Click here to purchase tickets or call (617)278-4280 to order by phone.

In over three decades of entertaining children, Raffi has steadfastly refused all commercial endorsement offers, and his company has never directly advertised or marketed to children. He is a passionate advocate for a child's right to live free of commercial exploitation.  For more information, please visit: http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/events/raffi.htm.

Park Service Scales Back Solicitation and Advertising Plan — No Naming Rights or Corporate Ads Inside National Parks

Last December, we asked you to send letters to the National Park service to protest a plan to aggressively seek corporate sponsorship of park projects and facilities.   Many of you responded and we happy to report that those letters made a difference.  In May, the Park Service announced that it was significantly scaling back its’ plans to commercialize our national parks.  While the new plan is far from perfect, it is better than what was originally proposed.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=682.

CCFC MEMBER NEWS:

Share, Spend, Save Releases “Financial Sanity Kit”

CCFC member organization Share, Spend, Save has created a  new “Financial Sanity Kit,” an interactive DVD that leads youth and adults through thought-provoking and habit changing conversations about money.  Share, Spend, Save helps people understand the connection between money, values and habits in today's hyper-consumer culture and, in turn, provides resources/tools to assist them in achieving financial sanity.  Research suggests that when people shift from a spending mentality to one that focuses on sharing and saving they will evidence healthier values and more happiness.  For more information, please visit http://www.sharesavespend.com/.

Center for a New American Dream offers “Tips for Parenting in a Commercial Culture.”

CCFC member the Center for a New American Dream just updated its popular "Tips for Parenting in a Commercial Culture" booklet and is offering it for free in PDF format.  (A hardcopy version on 100% post-consumer recycled paper is also available for $4).  The 32-page guide includes tips, strategies, statistics, profiles and resources for anyone looking to protect kids from the negative effects of commercialism.  The guide features CCFC's Susan Linn, Joe Kelly and Enola Aird.  Don’t miss out on this great resource.  Visit http://www.newdream.org/kids to download your free copy and send the link to parents, teachers and friends.

DADs:  New See Jane Research Shows Males in G-Rated Movies are Dominant, Disconnected and Dangerous.

Our youngest children learn alarming lessons about men and boys from the movies they watch over and over, according to a new report released today at the National Press Club by Oscar® winner Geena Davis’ See Jane program (www.SeeJane.org), part of CCFC member organization Dads & Daughters (www.DadsandDaughters.org).  Among the findings:

  • G-rated movies, whether animated or live-action, are dominated by white male characters and male stories. Male characters outnumber females 3:1.

  • Male characters are only half as likely as females to be parents. The fathering and relationship picture is even bleaker for male characters of color.

  • Nonwhite males are hard to find in G-rated movies. They make up only 14.5% of male characters, but are 35.5% of the male US population.

  • Almost twice as many nonwhite males as white males are portrayed as physically aggressive or violent.

  • Among male characters, 44.1% are physically aggressive or violent, compared to 36.9% of females. With three times more male than female characters, the actual number of physically aggressive males is much higher than the number of physically aggressive females.

“For every thinking parent, these findings are disturbing,” according to Joe Kelly, President of Dads & Daughters and author of four fathering books.  “G-rated films impact children profoundly because the average US child owns 20 DVDs or videos and watches at least one of them each day. 

For easy-to-use tips and to read the full report, visit www.SeeJane.org.

EVENTS

Media Education in a Violent Society

Wheelock College, Boston, MA

July 12-15, 2006

CCFC Co-Founder and Steering Committee Member, Dr. Diane Levin, will be co-teaching the 4-day Summer Institute, “Media Education in a Violent Society,” on July 12-15 at Wheelock College in Boston.  Now in its 12th year, the Media Institute provides an in depth exploration of the role of media, media violence and commercial media culture in society and how it impacts children and youth.  It also looks at how we can work with children and youth to lessen the impact both at home and school, including media literacy curriculum, as well as how we can influence policy.  Diane is the author of Remote Control Childhood: Combating the Hazards of Media Culture.  Gail Dines, the other instructor, is the co-editor of Gender, Race and Class in the Media. 

For more information about the Media Institute go to: http://wheelock.edu/professional/prof_summer.asp Or, contact Diane Levin at dlevin@wheelock.edu

Facing The Media Crisis: Media Education for Reform, Justice and Democracy

October 6-8, 2006

The Wyndham Lakefront Hotel and Champlain College

Burlington, Vermont

CCFC member organization the Action Coalition for Media Education will gather media education experts, media reformers, public health advocates, interested citizens, and independent media producers in beautiful Burlington, Vermont’s Champlain College from October 6-8, 2006 (Columbus Day weekend) for their third media education Summit. 

Summit keynote and plenary speakers include U.S. Senate candidate Bernie Sanders, actor David Straithairn, Sut Jhally, Jean Kilbourne, Amy Goodman, Bill McKibben, Robert McChesney, John Stauber, Diane Wilson, Jeff Chester, DADs president Joe Kelly, CCFC’s Josh Golin and more than one dozen other prominent media educators and citizen/activists! 

To register, please http://www.acmecoalition.org.

RESOURCES

Commercialism in Canadian Schools:  Who’s Calling the Shots?

This report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives details and analyzes the results from a national survey of commercialism in Canada’s public schools.  The report – the first of its kind – documents the nature and extent of commercial activities in elementary and secondary schools and the degree to which public funding is being replaced or supplemented by private funding sources, including school fundraising, advertising, partnerships and sponsorships, corporate-sponsored educational materials and user fees.  You can read the report at http://www.policyalternatives.ca/Reports/2006/05/Commercialism/index.cfm?pa=7AC00557

Help get soda and junk food out of schools:  “The Great Cola Conspiracy”  A funny and provocative flash video  from Parents’ Action for Children

As part of Parents’ Action for Children’s “Stir It Up” Campaign, parents across the country are working together to get junk food out of our schools. The campaign’s new flash video, which can be viewed online for free, focuses on the issue of soda in schools.

Did you know that a child who drinks 2 cans of soda a day is consuming four pounds of sugar every month?  View the video at http://stiritupamerica.com/colavideo.html

More Reasons Why CCFC’s Campaign to Stop the Deceptive Marketing of Baby Videos is so Important

The Media Family: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Their Parents

This new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation offers a comprehensive look at the media use of children ages 6 months to 6 years of age.  Among the findings: 

  • In a typical day more than eight in ten (83%) children under the age of six use screen media, with those children averaging about two hours a day.

  • 61% of babies one year or younger who watch screen media in a typical day for an average of one hour and twenty minutes.

  • 19% of children ages 1 year or younger, 29% of children ages 2-3 years, and 43% of those ages 4-6 years have a television in their bedroom.

  • Of particular note:  Parents who believe that television is educational allow their children to watch more television. 

The complete report is available at http://www.kff.org/entmedia/entmedia052406pkg.cfm.

Meanwhile, Michael Eisner, the former head of Walt Disney, has acquired Team Baby Entertainment, the makers of DVDs designed to introduce babies to mom and dad’s favorite college athletic teams.  Titles include “Baby Irish” for the University of Notre Dame and “Baby Longhorn” for the University of Texas.  According to Team Baby’s website, the DVDs are “informative,” “entertaining,” and - you guessed it - “educational.”

Also this month:  HBO's Classical Baby won the prestigious Peabody Award.  The Award was given at the Peabody Awards Presentation Luncheon, sponsored by CocaCola. According to the program notes, Classical Baby gives "parents, and their babies high-quality art, music, and dance exposure at one of the most crucial stages in a child's brain development."  The award was given for its "charm, beauty, imagination, and educational value." 

You can help us stop the deceptive marketing of media for babies by clicking here

Book Reviews

No Child Left Different, the fourth in Sharna Olfman's Childhood in America, series raises critical concerns about childhood, the pharmaceutical industry, and how unfettered corporate interests combine with the romance of a quick fix to undermine children's health.  Over the past 15 years, there has been a 300 percent increase in the use of psychotropic medications for children and youth under the age of 20. This volume traces the emergence of this phenomenon and critically examines the establishment of drugs as the treatment of choice--rather than last resort--for children and teens diagnosed with mental illnesses.  Sharna, and one of the book’s contributors, Michael Brody M.D, will be giving a workshop at the summit on this very topic. 

Child Honoring:  How to Turn this World Around, edited by Raffi Cavoukian and Sharna Olfman, is a powerful, and highly readable collection of essays detailing a path to global restoration through caring for and about children.  This remarkable anthology outlines the unprecedented threats to life at this defining moment in history, and offers a novel and systemic remedy for societal transformation based on honoring our youngest and "most valuable players.”   Contributing authors include Barbara Kingsolver, Joel Bakan, Susan Linn, Joan Almon, and Penelope Leach.  Raffi, Sharna, Susan and Joan will all be at CCFC’s summit October 26-28, 2006.

In the News

For the latest news about marketing to children check out  “In the News” on CCFC’s website.  Doing research?  Our news archives are updated several times a week.  Topics include, “Food Marketing,” “Tweens,” Marketing Violence,” and “Babies and Toddlers”.  

If you haven’t been checking “In the News” regularly, here’s some of what you missed:

Have the heirs of Barbie hit limit for risqué dolls? By Sara Miller Llana.  A analysis of  CCFC’s successful campaign to stop Hasbro from marketing the highly sexualized Pussycat Dolls to six-year-olds.

M&M math for fat kids.  By Catherine Price.  A disturbing exposé of junk food product placement masquerading as educational materials.

Soda Deal with Clinton Foundation Latest PR Stunt.  By Michele Simon.  The director of the Center for Informed Food Choices, takes a hard look at the beverage industry’s recent announcement that they are pulling sodas out of schools and makes a compelling argument why self-regulation is not enough.

Things We Wish We Didn’t Know

The Black Eye Peas, a popular hip-hop band, star in a new series of online films about reclaiming hip-hop from corporate media and returning the music to its more authentic roots.  Not a bad premise, but in reality the series is really just one long ad for Snickers:  Product placement is everywhere, the group lives in a Snickers’ factory, and they even get superpowers when they eat a Snickers’ bar.  You can see for yourself at http://www.instantdef.com/.

Coca-Cola has developed a new line of vending machines that allow users to take digital photos and download ring tones for mobile phones, part of the company’s plan to interact more directly with consumers.

Support CCFC

CCFC needs your help. We rely on our members for support because we will not compromise our commitment to children by accepting corporate funding.

Your tax-deductible contribution will help us:

  • Raise public awareness about how marketing harms children
  • Advocate for policies that will help protect children from corporate marketers.
  • Build a coalition of individuals and organizations that value children more than corporate profits.

Click here to donate today!

 

     

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