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Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) Urges Adoption of Republican Platform Plank on Marketing to Children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2008
2:35 PM

CONTACT: Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC)
Josh Golin (617.278.4172; jgolin@jbcc.harvard.edu)

 
CCFC Urges Adoption of Republican Platform Plank on Marketing to Children
 
WASHINGTON - July 23 - Today, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) sent a letter to the Republican Platform Committee urging them to adopt “a plank committing to protect our nation’s children from the excesses of our marketing-driven media culture.” The letter is part of CCFC’s efforts to ignite a national conversation about the commercialization of childhood. In June, CCFC sent a letter to the Democratic Platform Committee urging the adoption of a similar plank and CCFC’s representatives met with Democratic National Platform Director Michael Yaki to discuss the plank today.

“Our marketing-driven media culture contributes to many of the most pressing problems facing children today,” said CCFC’s Director Dr. Susan Linn, author of Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood. “We urge both Platform Committees to demonstrate their commitment to children by adopting planks that clearly state that they will work for the rights of children to grow up – and the freedom of parents to raise them – without being undermined by negative media messages and harmful marketing.”

The letter to the Republican Platform Committee is below:

July 23, 2008

Representative Kevin McCarthy, Chairman
Senator Richard Burr, Co-Chairman, Executive Director
The Republican Platform Committee
310 First Street
Washington, DC 20003

Dear Representative McCarthy and Senator Burr:

We are writing on behalf of the Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) to ask that the Platform Committee include in the 2008 Republican Platform a plank committing the Party to help America’s families by protecting our children from the excesses of our marketing-driven media culture. The health, well-being, and character of America’s children depend on our ability as a nation to safeguard them from what has become an onslaught of sexualized and violent media and marketing. The media and marketing industries are not just selling programs and products, they are also selling values—values that undermine the lessons that responsible parents strive to teach children.

We submit the following language for consideration by the Platform Committee:

“No strategy to ensure the well-being of America’s children and strengthen America’s families can be complete without a plan to protect our children from the excesses of our marketing-driven media industries. Parents today are rightly concerned that, driven by an almost single-minded focus on the bottom line, the nation’s media and marketing institutions are teaching young people lessons and values that undermine good parenting and hurt children. For all the benefits that the media have brought us, they have also contributed to a profound coarsening of our culture with a steady stream of messages that sexualize children, promote unhealthy eating, and glorify violence and materialism. The escalation in marketing targeted directly at children, including babies, has been linked to some of the most serious public health problems facing our nation: the decline in children’s creative play, childhood obesity, eating disorders, precocious sexuality, youth violence, and family stress.

“We want to help parents raise healthy children of good character. In ways consistent with the First Amendment, we will work to foster a healthier media environment for our children. We will work to protect our children from the excesses of marketing. We will protect parents’ rights to raise their children without being overwhelmed by negative media messages and harmful marketing strategies.”

The CCFC is a non-profit national coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups, and concerned parents working to counter the harmful effects of marketing to children through action, advocacy, education, research, and collaboration. We thank you for your consideration of this request. We hope that, whatever language it may ultimately adopt, the 2008 Platform will commit the Republican Party to working to protect our nation’s children from damaging media and marketing influences.

Sincerely,

Susan Linn, EdD
Enola Aird, JD
CCFC Director CCFC Steering Committee

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