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November 9, 2005

Contact: Dr. Susan Linn (617.278.4282)

For Immediate Release

Children’s Advocates Urge Former President Clinton to End Nickelodeon Partnership

Citing Nickelodeon’s recent attempts to undermine policies to protect children from predatory marketing, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) has launched a letter-writing campaign calling on former President Clinton to sever his relationship with Nickelodeon. The William J. Clinton Foundation recently joined with Nickelodeon in the Alliance for a Healthy Generation, a new campaign to curb childhood obesity. President Clinton is scheduled to appear at a special town meeting on Nickelodeon on Sunday, November 13.

“It’s great that President Clinton is encouraging children to eat right and exercise, but that message will most likely be lost in the deluge of junk food advertising that children see every day,” said CCFC’s co-founder Dr. Susan Linn, author of Consuming Kids. “The best thing he could do for children and families is to use his considerable influence to advocate for policies that would protect children from food marketers. Unfortunately, his partner in the Alliance is actually trying to undo some of the few safeguards already in place.”

Viacom, Nickelodeon’s parent company, is going to court to get the Federal Communications Commission to jettison its rules on advertising and marketing to children as they apply to digital television. Among other safeguards, these rules will ensure that programs broadcast for children will not show unlimited advertisements of commercial websites and will prohibit the advertisement on television of websites that contain “host-selling,” that is, websites on which popular characters from the very same children’s television programs pitch products to children.

“The FCC has acted appropriately to limit the amount of advertising on children’s programming, including the advertising of websites that are of a commercial nature or contain host-selling,” said Professor Angela Campbell of the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center, who is serving as legal counsel to a coalition of organizations defending the FCC’s rules against Viacom’s legal challenge. “If Viacom is successful in its legal challenge, we can expect that marketers will increase their use of television and websites in combination to bypass parents and target children directly with ads for unhealthy food and other potentially harmful products.”

Nickelodeon is already one of the leading purveyors of junk food marketing to children, aggressively promoting foods high in fat, sugar, salt and calories to children on television, on the Internet, in films, in their magazines, in live performances and through brand licensing of its most popular characters, including Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants.

Click here to read CCFC's letter to President Clinton

To send your own letter to President Clinton, please visit http://www.demaction.org/dia/organizations/ccfc/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=1476

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood 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 supports the rights of children to grow up – and the rights of parents to raise them – without being undermined by rampant consumerism. For more information, please visit: www.commercialfreechildhood.org

 
 
More on the Alliance for a Healthy Generation

Action Alert: Tell President Clinton: Don't Partner With Nick

CCFC's Letter to President Clinton

 

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