Thursday, June 15, 2006

Activist Alert

From time to time I will post info on here for what I consider to be an important issue. If you also find it important please feel free to partcipate.

Today's is about the organization CCFC - Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

The following is info sent out from the CCFC
The issue:

Intensifying our efforts to stop false and deceptive marketing by the baby media industry, CCFC has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against BabyFirstTV, the first television station for infants and toddlers, for false and deceptive advertising.

In an amendment to our May 11, 2006 complaint against Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby, CCFC charged BabyFirstTV with violating Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act by marketing their programming as educational for babies. CCFC is asking the FTC to prohibit BabyFirstTV from making unsubstantiated claims about the educational and developmental benefits of their programming and to require that promotional materials for the new channel prominently display the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) recommendation of no screen time for children under two.

If you haven't already done so, please take a moment to urge the FTC to investigate our baby media complaint.

BabyFirstTV promotes its programming as "an educational tool that provides a positive learning environment" and as "specifically designed to enhance developmental skills in areas such as creative thinking, math, sensory skills, language, social skills and creative play." BabyFirstTV also touts its "Color-coded Programming Guide" claiming that it "helps inform parents about the educational value of each segment" of programming. For instance, according to the guide, the Thinking Journey series "engages children in identifying patterns of thinking and developing creative ways of viewing the world."

"There is no evidence that screen media is beneficial for children under two--and placing babies in front of screens takes them away from activities that really do promote healthy development," said Dr. Susan Linn, CCFC's co-founder and author of Consuming Kids. "BabyFirstTV shouldn't deceive parents by claiming that their programming is educational for babies. It's clever marketing, but it's just not true." According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, parents' belief about the educational benefits of television affects the amount and frequency of children's viewing time.

Please urge the FTC to investigate CCFC's baby video complaint. If you have ever purchased a baby video for your child because you thought it was educational, please describe your experience in the "add a comment" section of the petition. And help us protect babies and children from commercial exploitation by spreading the word to friends and family.

Thank you.

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 commercialism. For more information, please visit:

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