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September 8, 2009

Contact:  Josh Golin (617-896-9369;josh@commercialfreechildhood.org)
               
For Immediate Release

CCFC Statement on the FCC’s BusRadio Report

Today, the Federal Communications Commission issued a report to Congress on specially designed commercial radio broadcasts for school buses.  CCFC requested the report because of concerns about BusRadio, a company that hopes to make its student-targeted radio broadcasts compulsory listening for children around the country.  Below is CCFC’s comment on the report:

The FCC’s report is essential reading for any school district considering a contract with BusRadio. Since BusRadio’s founding in 2005, CCFC and other advocates have voiced serious concerns about the company’s marketing practices.  We are pleased that the FCC shares many of our core concerns, including: 

  • BusRadio understates the amount of its commercial content (p. 18).
  • BusRadio exploits the relationship between its on-air personalities and young listeners by having its DJs pitch products directly to students (p.20).
  • BusRadio’s programming and website for students fail to maintain a clear distinction between editorial and commercial content, as required by the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (p.20 & 21).
  • BusRadio’s website for parents “fails to enable parents to avoid exposure of their children to undesirable content” (p.13).

The FCC’s report provides an objective source for school districts evaluating BusRadio's services.  We agree with the FCC that school districts should “elicit early and active involvement by parents and caregivers in any decision relating to BusRadio or similar services.” ( p.21)    We urge parents, and anyone concerned about compulsory advertising on school buses, to share this report with their local school board.   We also urge state legislators to use this report to educate themselves about BusRadio, and to join New York and South Carolina in banning advertising on school buses.

The FCC’s report is available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-09-1999A1.pdf

CCFC's comments to the FCC can be read here.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is a national coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups and concerned parents who counter the harmful effects of marketing to children through action, advocacy, education, research, and collaboration. CCFC is headquartered at the Judge Baker Children's Center in Boston.  www.commercialfreechildhood.org/.
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