|Action Update: US Soccer and
Several months ago, CCFC sent a public letter to US
Youth Soccer (USYS) asking them to end their sponsorship
agreement with ChemLawn. Under this agreement, ChemLawn
used USYS address lists to send mailings that were
clearly designed to get soccer players to nag their
parents for ChemLawn’s potentially toxic products. (You
can read the letter at
Then we asked for your help and you responded. Hundreds
of you wrote letters to US Youth Soccer and demanded
that they sever their ties to ChemLawn.
We are happy to report that all of our efforts paid off.
ChemLawn is no longer a sponsor of US Youth Soccer. It
is great that ChemLawn will no longer be able to exploit
children's love of soccer to market toxic pesticides to
families. And it is gratifying to see that we can make a
Thanks to the individuals and organizations who
participated in this campaign!
October 5, 2004
Contact: Josh Golin 617-896-9369,
Child and Environmental Advocates Urge US
Youth Soccer to Give TruGreen/ChemLawn Partnership the Boot
Citing concerns about exploiting children to
market toxic products to their families, thirty prominent children’s and
environmental organizations sent a public letter today to US Youth Soccer (USYS)
asking them not to renew their sponsorship agreement with TruGreen/ChemLawn.
Since the partnership was announced in May,
2003, TruGreen/Chemlawn, using address lists provided by USYS, has sent mailings
addressed to “The Family of” young soccer players touting ChemLawn’s services.
The mailings explicitly state several times that TruGreen/ChemLawn will donate a
percentage of each purchase to USYS.
“These mailings are not only a violation of
children’s privacy, but a transparent attempt to get children to nag their
parents for ChemLawn’s services,” said Dr. Susan
Linn, of Harvard’s Judge Baker Children’s Center and author of Consuming
Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood. “Marketers are constantly
looking for ways to make it harder for parents to say no – in this case by
equating support of their children’s soccer team with hiring a company to dump
pesticides on their lawn.”
linked lawn pesticides to birth defects, liver and kidney damage, and
neurological disorders. Children are more likely to come into contact with lawn
pesticides and are more vulnerable to their effects. The use of pesticides has
been linked to an increased risk of childhood illnesses including non-Hodgkin’s
Lymphoma, brain cancer, and leukemia.
The letter calls
on USYS to:
Protect children’s health by not renewing their sponsorship
agreement with ChemLawn when the current agreement expires in December, 2004.
Protect children’s privacy by refusing to share their contact information with TruGreen/ChemLawn
–or any other corporate sponsors.
Refrain from working with corporate partners whose products
and/or practices may cause harm to children.
The letter was
written by the coalition to Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children, a national
advocacy group that counters the harmful effects of marketing to children.
Signatories include organizations concerned about the commercialization of
childhood as well as and environmental and public health advocacy groups
concerned about the harmful effects of pesticides.
concerns about the ChemLawn/US Youth Soccer Partnership should can send a letter
to USYS President David Messersmith and Director of Marketing Chris Branscome by
complete text of the letter and its signatories can
be found at: