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September 28, 2009

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

The Song is Over for BusRadio

After three years of parent protest and opposition, the school bus radio network ceases operations.

After a three-year campaign by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), BusRadio - the highly controversial company that planned to "take targeted student marketing to the next level" - has ceased operations. BusRadio had hoped to play its highly commercialized broadcasts for students on buses around the country, but CCFC and its network of parent activists opposed the company's plans at every turn.

"This is a tremendous victory for families and the growing movement to protect children form exploitative marketing," said CCFC's Director Dr. Susan Linn, a psychologist at the Judge Baker's Children Center. "No child should be forced to listen to advertising on their way to and from school."

Shortly after BusRadio was founded, CCFC organized a demonstration to call attention to the myriad ways the company hoped to use its school bus broadcasts to market to a captive audience of students. CCFC and Obligation, Inc. - another advocacy organization that opposes school commercialism - monitored BusRadio's content and advertising and shared their findings with parents, school administrators and the media. CCFC and its membership were instrumental in stopping BusRadio in school districts around the country, including large busing districts such Montgomery County, Maryland and Louisville, Kentucky.

In 2009, CCFC requested a study of BusRadio by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC delivered that report earlier this month. More than 1,000 CCFC members filed comments with the FCC opposing BusRadio and the FCC's report agreed with many of CCFC's core concerns. CCFC shared the FCC's findings with school transportation directors around the country while CCFC members have been sending the report to their local school boards.

"BusRadio severely underestimated parents' determination to keep advertisers off of school buses," said CCFC's Associate Director Josh Golin. "As marketing aimed at children becomes more pervasive and ubiquitous, it is more important then ever to protect commercial-free spaces for kids."

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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