WASHINGTON - September 13 - The non-news event of the day is the release of a “new” version of the Monopoly board game that will have ads for McDonalds, Starbucks, Motorola and other corporate sponsors on the game tokens.
“Shame on Hasbro for hawking junk food and caffeine to children,” said Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert, which fights invasions of the commercial culture into our lives and families. “Hasbro is toying with the health of our children. Maybe it thinks that the childhood obesity epidemic is just a game, but parents know better.”
“If Starbucks is going to keep its pledge not to market to children, it has to remove its brand from the new Monopoly game,” Ruskin added.
“Hasbro has undercut one of the prime virtues of its own product,” said Jonathan Rowe, issues director of Commercial Alert. “Whatever else one thought about Monopoly, at least it conveyed to kids the importance of savings and investment. Now the game is touting consumption instead. Maybe Hasbro should rename it ‘Huckster Haven.’”
“Hasbro has succeeded in giving parents a good reason to scratch Monopoly off their lists for Christmas this year,” Rowe added. “If the company really had wanted to make news, it would have would have resisted the temptation to put ads into the game.”
Commercial Alert’s 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. For more information, see our website at: http://www.commercialalert.org.