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March 15, 2005

Contact: Dr. Susan Linn (617) 278-4282 susan<at>


For Immediate Release


Advocates for Children Challenge Alliance for American Advertising

“There is No Absolute Right to Advertise to Children”

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) is issuing a sharp rebuke to the Alliance for American Advertising’s recent assertion that advertising to children is a “right.”  Endorsed by leading experts in child development, public health, and nutrition, CCFC's Statement on the Rights of Children, Families, and Food Marketers reaffirms the rights of parents to raise healthy children without being undermined by corporate marketers.  CCFC’s Dr. Susan Linn will read the statement when she joins Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) on Wednesday, March 16, for a 12:00 PM press conference in Room SD430 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.  Senator Harkin will challenge junk food companies and the advertising industry to clean up their act and announce two legislative measures to regulate and limit harmful marketing. 

Signatories to CCFC’s statement include noted pediatrician and author, T. Berry Brazelton. M.D.; David Ludwig, M.D., director of the Obesity Program at Children’s Hospital in Boston; Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D.  of the Judge Baker’s Children Center; Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation; David Elkind, Ph.D, author of The Hurried Child; and Marion Nestle, Ph.D., author of Food Politics.  In addition, more than 50 organizations – including the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, the Alliance for Childhood, The Motherhood Project at the Institute for American Values, and Dads and Daughters – have endorsed the statement. 

The statement notes:  “It is alarming that, in the face of mounting evidence of harm associated with advertising to children, industry leaders are choosing to emphasize their rights without a commensurate focus on their responsibilities . . . We believe that children have the right to grow up in a safe and healthy environment; that parents have the right to raise their children without being undermined by corporate marketers; that schools, communities, and nations, if they deem it necessary, have the right to restrict commercial access to children.” 

“The statement demonstrates the strength of the growing alliance of those who value children more than the bottom line,” said Dr. Linn, author of Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood.   “As marketers scurry to protect their “right” to manipulate children’s hearts and minds, parents, educators, and health care professionals are joining together to say our children are not for sale.”

To read and sign the the complete statement, please visit

To see the complete list of notable signatories, please visit

The Campaign For A Commercial-Free Childhood (formerly Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children) 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:




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