Bus Radio Dies By Parental Activism

I love the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood because they illustrate perfectly that parental and consumer activism works.

After CCFC’s three-year campaign. BusRadio – the company that planned to “take targeted student marketing to the next level” – ceased operations yesterday.

Dear God, the “next level” of student marketing includes ads on math tests and ads playing over the intercom during breaks between periods.

These are the actions the CFCC took to spare students forced and inappropriate advertising during their bus ride to school, according to their email newsletter:

  • Demonstrated at Sigma Partners, the venture capital firm behind BusRadio, to call attention to BusRadio’s egregious marketing.
  • Monitored (along with our friends at Obligation, Inc.) BusRadio’s content and advertising-and shared our findings with parents, school administrators and the media.
  • Lobbied successfully for a state-wide ban on school bus advertising in South Carolina.
  • Organized parents to lobby their school boards. CCFC members were instrumental in stopping BusRadio in school districts around the country, including large busing districts such as Montgomery County, Maryland and Louisville, Kentucky.

This isn’t simply about BusRadio. This is also about the FCC finally recognizing a fundamental issue: school advertising forces children to be the passive audience without parental consent.

The FCC criticized BusRadio for its advertising practices and for undermining parents’ ability to limit their children’s exposure to undesirable content. CCFC members shared the report with their local school boards–and schools across the country pledged not to sign up.

Visit CFCC and make a donation.

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