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March 10, 2010

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

CCFC to Disney: We Won't Be Silenced
Advocacy group vows to continue its important work on behalf of children

BOSTON (March 10, 2010) -- After ten incredibly productive years, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has been forced to leave the Judge Baker Children’s Center (JBCC), a Harvard-affiliated children’s mental health center in Boston. JBCC’s decision to end its affiliation with CCFC came after representatives from the Walt Disney Company contacted the Center following CCFC’s successful campaign to persuade Disney to offer refunds on its Baby Einstein videos.

“It is chilling that any corporation, particularly one marketing itself as family friendly, would lean on a children’s mental health center,” said CCFC’s Director, Dr. Susan Linn. “It is more important than ever that those who care about children’s wellbeing speak out against the corporate takeover of childhood.”

Last fall, after a front-page story in the New York Times called the Baby Einstein refunds “a tacit admission that {the videos} do not increase infant intellect,” representatives from Disney contacted JBCC. In the aftermath, CCFC staff was pressured not to talk to the press about Baby Einstein. Questions were raised whether CCFC’s mission was appropriate for the Center. In January, CCFC was told—after its most successful year-to-date—to leave Judge Baker.

Judge Baker’s decision was sharply criticized by psychiatrist Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint, director of the Media Center at Judge Baker Children's Center, who was scheduled to receive JBCC’s prestigious World of Children Award on Saturday, March 13 at a gala celebrating his commitment to children’s wellbeing and a lifetime of advocacy. Dr. Poussaint refused the award on CCFC’s behalf:

“In convincing some of the biggest corporations in the world to change their marketing policies, CCFC's work has benefited not just the children directly served by Judge Baker, but children all over the world,” wrote Dr. Poussaint in a letter to Judge Baker. “It is the obligation of all health and mental health institutions, and professionals, to stand up to any entity that is harming children and to work hard to change the related societal forces.”

“We have great admiration for the Center’s staff, and their work on behalf of children,” said Dr. Linn. “But we are deeply saddened that the institution ceded its ground and stopped supporting CCFC and our efforts to challenge powerful interests in order to protect children and support parents.”

CCFC now has a new home at Third Sector New England (TSNE), an organization devoted to promoting a more just and democratic society.

"Third Sector New England is delighted to be the new home of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood,” said TSNE’s Executive Director Jonathan Spack. “CCFC's work to halt the commercial exploitation of children by corporate marketers is a wonderful addition to TSNE's social and economic justice programming. We look forward to helping CCFC continue its successful advocacy for policies and practices that protect the most vulnerable among us." 

Added Dr. Linn, “We are so pleased to be at TSNE. It’s a wonderful organization, and a great place to continue our work reclaiming childhood from corporate marketers.”

 

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 a project of Third Sector New England in Boston.  www.commercialfreechildhood.org/.
 
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Links
Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint's Letter to Judge Baker
Read CCFC's Letter to Members
CCFC Urges Baby Einstein to Come Clean with Parents
CCFC Baby Einstein Victory
Fact Sheet on Baby Videos
CCFC's FTC Complaint Against Baby Einstein
Press
Angering the Mouse
The Valley Advocate, March 18, 2010
Bowing to Corporate America, Judge Baker Center Loses Face
Boston Globe, March 13, 2010

After Victory Over Disney, Group [CCFC] Loses Its Lease
New York Times, March 9, 2009

Disney Isn't Smart About Baby Einstein Response
MediaPost, November 2, 2009
No Einstein in Your Crib? Get a Refund
New York Times, October 24, 2009
Disney Expands its "Baby Einstein" Refunds
CBS News, October 24, 2009
Disney Expands Refunds on Baby Einstein DVDs
Associated Press, October 23, 2009
Parents Offered Refunds on Baby Einstein Videos
Canwest News, October 23, 2009
Disney Offers Millions of Parents Baby Einstein Video Refunds
Telegraph, October 24, 2009
Disney Admits Baby Einstein is a Fraud
ArtThreat, October 24, 2009
Refunds Offered on Baby Einstein DVDs
CBC News, October 25, 2009
Baby Einstein and the Myth of TV as a Teacher
Lousiville Democrat Examiner, October 26, 2009
Disney Offers Baby Einstein Refunds After Alleged False Advertising
The Consumerist, October 25, 2009
Disney Offers 'Baby Einstein' Refund
Brandweek, October 23, 2009
 

 

 

     

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