CCFC Urges Supermarkets to Shelve Grocery Shelf TV Ads

For Immediate Release

CCFC Urges Supermarkets to Shelve Grocery Shelf TV Ads

BOSTON - The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is demanding that the Food
Lion supermarket chain pull the plug on 3GTv, a controversial new
marketing scheme that airs commercials on mini-televisions attached to
grocery store shelves -- right next to the product being advertised. 
This fall, Food Lion and Automated Media Services will conduct a trial
of 3GTv in several of its Bloom supermarkets in Maryland and Virginia.  A
successful test run is likely to have nation-wide consequences,
spurring other grocery stores to follow suit.  That's why CCFC is urging
parents, regardless of where they live and shop, to petition Food Lion
to shelve its on-shelf commercials. 

"When screen-based advertising
invades the public sphere, even the most vigilant parents can't protect
children from it," said CCFC's Director, Dr. Susan Linn. "It's time to
challenge the notion that marketers have a right to fill every nook and
cranny of our lives with televisions and their blaring commercials.  If
we don't stop 3GTv now, families will be forced to run a gauntlet of TV
advertising in every aisle of every supermarket around the country."

Televisions at the supermarket
checkout counter are already common, exploiting a captive audience
waiting in line to pay for groceries.  But 3GTv, developed by Automated
Media Services, ups the ante.  At the exact moment families are making
purchasing decisions, in-your-face TV ads will undercut parental
authority by compelling children to lobby for the product being
advertised.

"It's bad enough that popular
children's characters such as Dora the Explorer and Shrek beckon from
packaging on grocery shelves, encouraging children to nag for snacks and
cereals of dubious nutritional quality," added Dr. Linn. "But
assaulting families with actual TV commercials while they shop is a new
low."

"Having TV screens all over grocery
stores undermines my parenting," said Samantha Penrose, a mother of
three from Urbana, Illinois. "You simply cannot avoid the presence of
television! Not only are they getting to play their ads for our kids,
but they are sending the message that it is normal to stare at a screen
all day...in the car, at the store, in school...It's truly sickening."

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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. CCFC is a project of Third Sector New England (www.tsne.org).

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