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CCFC Urges Adoption of Democratic Platform Plank on Marketing to Children
Today, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) sent a letter to the Democratic Platform Committee urging them to adopt “a plank committing to protect our nation’s children from the excesses of our marketing-driven media culture.” CCFC will send a letter to Republican Platform Committee in the coming weeks.
“Marketing is a factor in many of the most pressing problems facing children today,” said CCFC’s Director Dr. Susan Linn, author of Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood. “We urge the Platform Committee to demonstrate their commitment to children by adopting a plank that clearly states that they will work for the rights of children to grow up – and the freedom of parents to raise them – without being undermined by negative media messages and harmful marketing.”
The letter to the Platform Committee is below:
June 11, 2008
The Chairs of the Platform Committee
The Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Dear Platform Committee Chairs:
We are writing on behalf of the Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) to ask that the Platform Committee include in the 2008 Democratic Party Platform a plank committing to protect our nation’s children from the excesses of our marketing-driven media culture. The health and well-being of America’s children depend on our ability as a nation to safeguard them from what has become an onslaught of harmful media and marketing. We submit the following language for consideration by the Platform Committee:
“No strategy to ensure the well-being of America’s children and to strengthen America’s families can be complete without a plan to protect our children from the excesses of our marketing-driven media culture [alternative language: the excesses of contemporary marketing practices.] Parents today are rightly concerned that, driven by an almost single-minded focus on financial profit, the nation’s media and marketing institutions are teaching young people lessons and values that undermine good parenting and harm children. For all the benefits that the media have brought us, these industries have also contributed to a profound coarsening of our culture with a steady stream of messages that sexualize children, promote unhealthy eating, and glorify violence and materialism. The escalation in marketing targeted directly at children, including babies, has been scientifically linked to some of the most serious public problems facing our nation: childhood obesity, youth violence, eating disorders, precocious sexuality, the decline in children’s creative play, and family stress.
“We want to help parents raise healthy children of good character. In ways consistent with the First Amendment, we will work to foster a healthier media environment for our children. We will work to protect our children from the excesses of marketing. We will protect parents’ rights to raise their children without being overwhelmed by negative media messages and harmful marketing strategies.”
The CCFC is a non-profit national coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups, and concerned parents working to counter the harmful effects of marketing to children through action, advocacy, education, research, and collaboration. We thank you for your consideration of this request, and would of course be happy to discuss it with you further. We hope that, whatever language the committee may ultimately adopt, the 2008 Platform will commit the Democratic Party to working to protect our nation’s children from damaging media and marketing influences.
Susan Linn, EdD Enola Aird, JD
CCFC Director CCFC Steering Committee