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Urge Congress to Restore the Federal Trade Commission’s Authority to Regulate Marketing to Children

In 1978, after a thorough review of research that demonstrated marketing to young children is inherently unfair because they do not understand its persuasive intent, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a ban on advertising to children under eight.  Worried about losing access to a lucrative market, the affected industries lobbied Congress and their efforts were rewarded. Congress sided with corporations over the public interest, and, in 1980, passed the "FTC Improvement Act,"  which severely curtailed the FTC’s power to regulate advertising to children. Since then, child-directed marketing has escalated exponentially with virtually no government oversight. Under current law, it’s more difficult to regulate advertising to children than to adults!

Last year, Senator Tom Harkin introduced legislation called the HeLP America Act included a provision to restore the FTC’s authority to regulate marketing to children.  Senator Harkin plans to reintroduce the HeLP America Act in the coming weeks and CCFC will be mobilizing grassroots support for the bill.


What you can do:  After Senator Harkin reintroduces his FTC bill (we’ll let you know when he does), write and call your Representatives and Senators and urge them to support this crucial legislation.  You may also wish to visit your representatives’ offices to educate them about the harms associated with marketing to children and the importance of reestablishing a regulatory structure to fight back against unchecked advertisers.  We’ll help you coordinate your visits with other CCFC members in your area and provide educational materials to bring with you.







CCFC is a Program of the Judge Baker Children's Center

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