Friday, October 1, 2010

Commercialism Corner

Commercialism Corner: Your one-stop shop for quick summaries and links to all the latest news about the commercialization of childhood.

For Pupils, a Note and Ad from School – Peabody, MA school committee approves advertising on elementary school notices like permission slips and school calendars. This is the latest in a trend of struggling schools selling out students in an attempt to fill budget gaps.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Families! Disney Launches Magic of Healthy Living – Disney teams up with Michelle Obama and the Ad Council (sponsored by the Dept. of Agriculture) for a series of PSAs starring Disney characters to promote “healthy lifestyles” for kids and families, which direct kids to new Disney websites designed to promote health—and obviously the Disney brand.

Skechers Show a Hot Topic for FCC – The latest in the media coverage of the FCC’s inquiry into CCFC’s petition that the upcoming Skechers cartoon is nothing but a 22-minute ad. The author writes, “If the Federal Communications Commission decided that TV shows based on toys constitute illegal program-length commercials, the implications could be bigger than a life-sized Barbie.” Multichannel subscription required.

'Happy Meal' Legislation Will Be Back for Seconds
– San Francisco Happy Meal junk food toy ban will be debated again next week, even after company that makes fast food toy trinkets launched the (desperate) website

Parents Unaware of Kids' Online Gaming: Survey – 77% of Canadian kids 6-17 said they played online games, but only 5% of parents believed their children engaged in online gaming, and 90% of children age 6-12 reported playing an online game in the past 4 weeks.

But, Mo-o-o-o-m! -- Converting Engaged Teens To Sales
– Inside the marketing mindset: This trade publication article advises advertisers on how to transform teens into dollar signs for companies.  The author writes, “a teen might have the cash for a can of soda, but wouldn't you rather sell them a case for $8.99?”

Kucinich Proposal Would Raise $15-19 Billion for Childhood Nutrition Efforts – Rep. Kucinich says it’s not fair to cut food stamp money to fund childhood nutrition efforts, when plenty could be saved by disallowing tax deductions for companies that market junk food to kids: “Kucinich announced that the Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that his proposal to revoke corporate tax deductions for advertising and marketing expenses aimed at selling junk food and fast food to children could provide $15-19 billion (over 10 years) for child nutrition programs.”

As Tween Girls Start to Look Toward New Fashion Influences, Parents May Resist – Parents and schools aren’t so keen on sexualized fashions for “tween” girls, but shopping for non-provocative clothes for 8-13-year-old girls can be quite a challenge with “risque” fashions filling the aisles and dominating marketing.

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