Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

8 04 2011

McDonald's ad, Austria

 Regular readers will know that I have talked about this topic often – the commercialization of childhood and the inappropriate (and damaging) marketing of everything under the sun to kids. More often than not the messages are highly sexualized, exploiting the very innocence that ought to be protected.

Here are two resources you may find interesting. It’s nice to share other voices and reassuring to know others are ranting about this too. their mission is “to keep the commercial culture within its proper sphere, and to prevent it from exploiting children and subverting the higher values of family, community, environmental integrity and democracy”. Check out their Parents’ Bill of Rights and campaign to get salespeople out of schools.

Our nation is in the grips of a commercial hysteria. Sometimes it seems like everything is for sale. At Commercial Alert, we stand up for the idea that some things are too important to be for sale. Not our children. Not our health. Not our minds. Not our schools. Not our values. Not the integrity of our governments. Not for sale. Period. national organization (U.S.) devoted to limiting the impact of commercial culture on children – their mission is “to reclaim childhood from corporate marketers”. Good resources and attention to diverse issues (from obesity to violence) along with clout in their advocacy efforts – they have successfully battled Disney, Scholastic Inc. (Bratz), McDonald’s and Hasbro. 

The commercialization of childhood is the link between many of the most serious problems facing children, and society, today.  Childhood obesity, eating disorders, youth violence, sexualization, family stress, underage alcohol and tobacco use, rampant materialism, and the erosion of children’s creative play, are all exacerbated by advertising and marketing.  When children adopt the values that dominate commercial culture—dependence on the things we buy for life satisfaction, a “me first” attitude, conformity, impulse buying, and unthinking brand loyalty—the health of democracy and sustainability of our planet are threatened.  CCFC works for the rights of children to grow up—and the freedom for parents to raise them—without being undermined by commercial interests.

CCFC is active in the Toronto area where a recent campaign helped stop the installation of digital monitors in area highschools (along with their ad content)…anyone involved with CCFC in Hamilton???




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