For Immediate Release
CCFC to BusRadio: Stop Promoting 90210 to Six-Year-Olds
BOSTON - The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and other advocates
for children are demanding that BusRadio stop advertising the highly sexualized
new television show 90210 to children
as young as six. 90210 is
prominently advertised on BusRadio's website, BusRadio.com, which is
promoted throughout the company's broadcasts on school buses transporting
elementary, middle, and high school students. The ads urge children to tune in
to tonight's premiere of 90210,
which the CW Network describes as a "sexier" and "more
provocative" update on the popular series from the
nineties. CCFC has launched a
letter-writing campaign calling for BusRadio to remove all 90210 promotions from the website, including a trailer that
teases several sex scenes and a banner ad, linking to the shows website, which features
stars of the show in sexualized poses.
"It's distressing enough that BusRadio forces captive
audiences of children to listen to advertising on school buses," said
CCFC's co-founder and director, Dr. Susan Linn.
"That they're using their website to market sexualized TV
programming to children as young as six is one more signal that schools should
be wary of delivering students to such an unscrupulous company."
BusRadio is already controversial. The company, which has a 16%
approval rating among moms, plans to "take targeted student marketing to
the next level" through commercialized radio broadcasts on school
"BusRadio sells itself to school districts as an age-appropriate
alternative to FM radio, but once again they've demonstrated that they
don't know or don't care what age-appropriate means," said
Jim Metrock of Obligation, Inc., nonprofit advocacy organization that monitors
BusRadio. Seminole County,
Florida recently terminated their
relationship with BusRadio when the company refused to stop playing songs from
albums with parental warnings for explicit lyrics and content. Advertisers
on BusRadio's elementary school broadcasts have included the highly
sexualized Bratz brand. BusRadio
broadcasts repeatedly encourage young students to visit its BusRadio.com
website where inappropriate media, including Mature-rated video games and now 90120, are promoted.
Marketing 90210 to tweens
and young children is an essential component of the CW's marketing
strategy. In addition to the BusRadio ads, the show is being promoted
through licensed merchandise such as backpacks, school supplies, and clothing.
"Children are being assaulted with sexualized media and marketing
that influences their self-image, perceptions of others, and behaviors,"
said CCFC co-founder, Dr. Diane Levin, coauthor of So Sexy, So Soon. "By using school-supported
media to advertise 90210,
BusRadio is undermining the efforts of parents who wish to shield their
children from the harmful effects of popular culture."
Added Parents Television Council President Tim Winter: "The
CW Network's actions speak volumes. There can be no mistake that the
network is bound and determined to promote graphic, adult-themed material
directly to children. They are doing so openly and wantonly - even going
so far as to publicly admit in their ad copy that their programming is wholly
inappropriate for children. And with their new BusRadio campaign they are now
targeting their promotional messages at an audience that is only
comprised of children. The CW's recent marketing efforts have regressed
from a negligent disregard of the public interest to a reckless disregard; and
now it is an intentional disregard."