Thursday, June 25, 2015

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood Stopped MCPS From Running Commercial Radio on School Buses

Retiring founder of small Boston nonprofit notched victories against some of the world’s largest companies

...Originally called Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children, the organization has racked up a lengthy list of achievements. It prompted entertainment giant Disney to offer refunds on its “Baby Einstein” videos on the grounds they could not truly turn toddlers into geniuses. It prevented toy maker Hasbro from releasing a line of toys based on the racy pop group The Pussycat Dolls.
It stopped fast-food chain McDonald’s from advertising on report cards. It defeated legislation in several states that would have allowed ads on school buses. It put the company Your Baby Can Read out of business for deceptive advertising since, simply put, babies cannot read no matter what educational products their parents buy for them.
Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has a two-pronged approach to taking on corporate Goliaths. It sometimes files complaints with federal agencies, typically in partnership with Georgetown Law School’s Institute for Public Representation. It also wages antimarketing campaigns and demonstrations...


Back in 2008, the Parents' Coalition found out that Superintendent Jerry Weast had installed commercial radio targeting children on MCPS buses.  The radio ads instructed students to sign on to the BusRadio website and log in with personal information.  
We contacted the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and within 24 hours Superintendent Jerry Weast announced that the commercial radio receivers on the MCPS buses were being removed.

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood Press Release

December 11, 2008
Contact: Josh Golin (617.278.4172)

For Immediate Release

Montgomery County Pulls the Plug on BusRadio
Today, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) decided to terminate their relationship with BusRadio, the controversial company created to force children to listen to commercialized radio broadcasts on school buses around the country. MCPS's decision came after the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) sent a letter to MCPS superintendent Dr. Jerry Weast urging him to end the use of BusRadio on MCPS school buses. Montgomery County had been using BusRadio in a number of school buses on a trial basis. With 96,000 school bus riders, Montgomery County would have been BusRadio's largest school district. The following is CCFC's statement on Montgomery County's decision:

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood commends Montgomery County Public Schools for their decision to terminate their relationship with BusRadio. No school district should turn their students over to a company whose stated goal is to "take student-targeted marketing to the next level" or force children to listen to advertisements on their way to and from school.

CCFC also congratulates the Parents Coalition of Montgomery County for their advocacy efforts and for drawing attention to BusRadio's presence in Montgomery County. The events of the past twenty-four hours demonstrate once again that when parents learn the truth about BusRadio, they want no part of it for their children. We hope that parents around the country will continue to utilize our BusRadio resources – and those of Obligation, Inc – to keep their school buses commercial-free.

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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