As some of you have heard by now, threats made by the Disney Corporation following the successful pressure campaign to refund sales of their Baby Einstein videos have pressured the Harvard-affiliated Judge Baker Children’s Center to severe ties with the advocacy organization, Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, (CCFC).
For ten years CCFC has organized to protect children from the impact of marketing and commercialism. Throughout that history, the organization has held an uncompromising line in determined defense of children, taking to task any corporation or industry that exploit or profit at their expense.
CCFC’s vision of a commercial free childhood has inspired and informed our criticism of McDonald’s marketing to children.
Specifically, the expertise and guidance of CCFC director, Susan Linn, has sharpened our analysis of the food industry’s tactics, and we are greatly indebted to her for the support she has given to the launch of the Value [the] Meal campaign.
Please take a moment to read CCFC’s Statement below and find a way to support our allies!
The Value [the] Meal Team
Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood Statement
After ten incredibly successful years, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has been forced to leave Judge Baker Children's Center (JBCC), a Harvard-affiliated children's mental health center in Boston. CCFC now has a wonderful new home at Third Sector New England, an organization devoted to promoting a more just and democratic society.
We're pleased to have landed in such a great place. But we feel that it is important for you to know why JBCC severed our affiliation at a time when our work on behalf of children and families was being heralded worldwide.
As described in today's New York Times, last fall's successful campaign to get Disney to offer refunds on Baby Einstein videos came at a price. At the height of the media flurry about the refunds, representatives from Disney contacted JBCC, and our relationship with the Center was changed irrevocably. We were pressured to stop talking to the press about Baby Einstein. Questions were raised about whether CCFC's mission was appropriate for a JBCC program. Finally, in January, we were told that we had to leave - quickly. And, for our remaining time under JBCC's auspices, we were forbidden from conducting any advocacy aimed at a specific corporation or product. You may have noticed that you haven't heard from us in a while.
It is chilling that any corporation, particularly one marketing itself as family friendly, would lean on a children's mental health center. We have great admiration for the Center's staff, and the work they do for children. At the same time, we are deeply saddened that the institution ceded its ground and stopped supporting CCFC and our efforts to challenge powerful interests in order to protect children and support parents.
The sudden loss of the home where we flourished was a tremendous blow. Our move was unexpected and expensive. We know that Disney - and Nickelodeon, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Scholastic and all of the companies whose profits are threatened when we stand up for children - would love to see CCFC go away. But we are more determined than ever to continue our important work. Here's what you can do to help:
Spread the word about CCFC and its unbending commitment to children.
- Share this story with friends, colleagues and family.
- Blog about it, tweet about it.
- And please consider a donation to CCFC to help us through this costly transition.
Thanks for all you do for children,
Susan Linn Josh Golin
Director, CCFC Associate Director, CCFC
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood
89 South St., #404
Boston, MA 02111
New York Times Article: