Statement of CCFC Director Susan Linn on FCC’s Proposed Inquiry into Children’s Television Rules

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Evan Silverstein (617.278.4174; esilverstein@jbcc.harvard.edu)

Statement of CCFC Director Susan Linn on FCC’s Proposed Inquiry into Children’s Television Rules

WASHINGTON - The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood applauds the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) for opening an inquiry into its
children’s television rules, including inappropriate marketing practices.
Under the current rules, multi-national corporations are waging a campaign of
“cradle to grave” marketing to train children to be loyal consumers
for life.

While parents need to do their part to protect children, the limited
resources of hardworking mothers and fathers are no match for powerful
industries using rapidly evolving technologies to bypass parents and target
children directly, not just on television, but through the internet, cell
phones, mp3 players, videogames, and even in schools. That’s why parents
need help from government regulatory agencies such as the FCC and the Federal
Trade Commission (FTC), whose purpose is consumer protection.

Last month, CCFC sent a letter to President Obama—signed by more
than 2,500 parents—urging him to authorize both the FCC and the FTC to
evaluate their current policies to determine whether the needs of 21st
century families are being adequately met. 

On July 22, CCFC launched an online petition urging the Federal Trade
Commission to stop the film industry from inappropriately targeting
preschoolers with ads for violent films; films that the industry itself says
may contain material inappropriate for children.

CCFC cited more than 3,000 child-targeted ads on children’s
television stations for five different violent PG-13 films. Sixteen months ago,
in response to a CCFC complaint about marketing PG-13 films to young children,
the FTC staff urged the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to develop
a marketing policy consistent with the PG-13 rating. To date, the MPAA has not
complied. The petition will be delivered to the FTC before the August 7 opening
of the upcoming blockbuster GI-Joe: The Rise
of Cobra, which is rated PG-13 for “strong
sequences of action violence and mayhem throughout.”

Children have the right to grow
up—and parents have the right to raise them—without being
undermined by commercial interests. CCFC looks forward to working with both the
FCC and the FTC in efforts to protect children from exploitation by corporate
marketers.  

To read CCFC’s current petition about marketing violent PG-13
movies to young children, please visit http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/621/t/6725/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=2021.

To read CCFC’s letter to president Obama, please visit http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/621/t/6725/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=1935.

To read CCFC’s 2007 complaint to the FTC, please visit http://commercialfreechildhood.org//pressreleases/transformersftcletter.pdf.

To read the FTC’s response, please visit http://commercialfreechildhood.org//pdf/mengleletter.pdf.

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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 among organizations and individuals who care about children. CCFC is a project of Third Sector New England (www.tsne.org).

 

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