BOSTON - December 12 - The Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood lauds Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority General Manager Daniel Graubauskas and the MBTA Board of Directors for altering the agency’s advertising policy to preclude marketing videogames rated as unsuitable for children under 17. These include games rated “M” for “Mature” and “AO” for adults only.
Last month, in response to cars on the Green Line being plastered with ads the violent video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, CCFC organized a public letter to the MBTA requesting that the policy be changed. The letter was signed by a diverse coalition of legislators, health care professionals and community leaders including the Mayors Thomas A. Menino of Boston and Mayor Kenneth Reeves of Cambridge; Gerald Koocher, president of the American Psychological Association; Reverends Ray Hammond and Jeffrey Brown, co-founders of the 10 Point Coalition, and Dr. Alvin Poussaint of Judge Baker Children’s Center and Harvard Medical School.
“We are thrilled that the MBTA has been so responsive to community concerns,” said Susan Linn, a psychologist at Judge Baker Children’s Center and CCFC’s co-founder. “The children of Boston can now ride the MBTA without being targets for advertising that glorifies violence. The T’s decision sends a strong message to the videogame industry that public property cannot be used to promote violence to children. We hope that other cities will follow suit.”
The MBTA’s letter to CCFC announcing the policy change can be read at http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/pressreleases/mbta.pdf .
CCFC’s original letter to the MBTA requesting the change can be read at http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/pressreleases/mbtaletter.pdf .
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (www.commercialfreechildhood.org) 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 among organizations and individuals who care about children.
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